LATEST REPORT: Crimea Referendum: 95 percent Vote for Union with Russia

Preliminary results suggest that 95 percent have answered ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic of Crimea joining Russia with less than 5 percent of the vote in favor of remaining part of Ukraine. These figures are based on preliminary results. 50 percent of the district commissions have completed the counting of the vote. the voting turnout was 80 percent.

Earlier estimates based on exit polls indicated that ninety-three percent of Crimean voters in the Referendum had voted in favor of the union of Crimea (as an autonomous region) with the Russian Federation.

The RIA Novosti News Agency –quoting  exit poll figures– collected by the Crimean Institute of Political and Social Research, confirms that “the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of union with the Russian Federation.”

Reports confirm that the referendum was conducted without incidents.

Foreign observers from several Western countries were present.

The head of the referendum commission, Mikhail Malyshev, confirmed at a news conference that the voting proceeded smoothly.

No complaints were filed suggesting voting irregularities. The counting of the vote has commenced at the level of district commissions.

The referendum does not in itself establish a union with Russia. It provides a mandate for the conduct of negotiations pertaining to the union between the Crimean government and the Russian Federation.

Fifty percent  of the votes have already been counted [8.51 GMT].  The mood is one of celebration late into the night.

Public opinion in Crimea consider the government in Kiev as illegal, integrated by Ultra Right Wing Neo-Nazi elements. It should be mentioned that one of the first actions of the interim Ukrainian government was to abolish Russian as an official language.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian interim government has announced that it plans to increase the number of recruits in the newly-created National Guard by 20,000. The National Guard was set up by the The Ukraine’s National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) which is controlled by Neo-Neo Nazis: Andrij Parubiy (Svoboda) and his Right Sector brown Shirt deputy Dmytro Yarosh.

Michel Chossudovsky contributed to this report.


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