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Mar 17, 2014

Crimeans vote over 90 percent to quit Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL/KIEV (Reuters) – Russian state media said Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break with Ukraine and join Russia on Sunday, as Kiev accused Moscow of pouring forces into the peninsula and warned separatist leaders “the ground will burn under their feet”.

With over half the votes counted, 95.5 percent had chosen the option of annexation by Moscow, the head of the referendum commission, Mikhail Malyshev, said two hours after polls closed. Turnout was 83 percent, he added – a high figure given that many who opposed the move had said they would boycott the vote.

Mar 16, 2014

Tense Crimea votes overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday that has alarmed the former Soviet republic and triggered the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

According to results of an exit poll announced first on Russian media, 93 percent of voters backed a union with Moscow, 60 years after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian, gifted Crimea to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on an apparent whim.

Mar 16, 2014

Crimeans vote on union with Russia as troops build up rapidly

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine/KIEV (Reuters) – Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, with Kiev accusing Moscow of rapidly building up its armed forces on the peninsula in “crude violation” of an international treaty.

Caught in an East-West crisis reminiscent of the Cold War, Ukrainian acting defence minister Ihor Tenyukh said Russian troop numbers in Crimea were now almost double the level agreed with Moscow, and Kiev’s forces were taking “appropriate measures” along the border with Russia.

Mar 16, 2014

Tense Crimea chooses whether to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans decided on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum that has alarmed the ex-Soviet republic and triggered the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

Thousands of Russian troops have taken control of the Black Sea peninsula, and Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders have sought to ensure the vote is tilted in Moscow’s favour.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimeans set to vote in referendum to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans decide on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum that has infuriated Kiev and triggered the biggest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

Thousands of Russian troops have taken control of the Black Sea peninsula, and Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders have worked hard to ensure that the vote is tilted in Moscow’s favour.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea to vote on joining Russia, Moscow wields UN veto

KIEV/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 15 (Reuters) – Pro-Russian
leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a
referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea
region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of
sanctions from the West.

Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that
declared the referendum invalid, as Ukraine’s defence ministry
scrambled aircraft and paratroopers to confront what it said was
a Russian encroachment just beyond Crimea’s formal regional
boundary.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimeans get ready to vote under heavy military presence

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine to Moscow, despite the threat of sanctions and condemnation from Western governments.

Sunday’s vote, dismissed by Kiev as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, and ratcheted up tensions not only in Crimea but also eastern Ukraine, where two people were killed in clashes late on Friday.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea to vote in Russia referendum, Moscow vetoes U.N. move

KIEV/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of sanctions from the West.

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that declared the referendum invalid, as Ukraine’s defense ministry said it scrambled aircraft and paratroops to confront a Russian encroachment beyond Crimea’s regional boundary.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea prepares for referendum under heavy military presence

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine to Moscow, despite the threat of sanctions and condemnation from Western governments.

Sunday’s vote, dismissed by Kiev as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, and ratcheted up tensions not only in Crimea but also eastern Ukraine, where two people were killed in clashes late on Friday.

Mar 13, 2014

Far-right leader eyes Ukraine’s political middle ground

KIEV (Reuters) – When President Vladimir Putin justifies the armed occupation of Crimea by saying Russian-speakers in Ukraine need defending from “neo-fascists”, far-right leader Dmytro Yarosh is one of the main people he has in mind.

In the final days of Viktor Yanukovich’s rule, Yarosh’s ultra-nationalist followers fought fierce battles with police on the streets of Kiev, earning them a reputation as shadowy extremists kept at arm’s length by other opponents of the Moscow-backed leader.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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