Declaring victory, Crimean and Russian officials pledge fast integration

With one exit poll showing that 93 per cent of Crimeans voted to join Russia, the peninsula’s pro-Kremlin prime minister and a Russian nationalist politician pledged quick integration.

The bravado and declarations of speedy Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory came after a deeply flawed vote held under the intimidating presence of at least 22,000 Russian soldiers, who invaded in late February.

Ukraine’s central government and the West pledged to ignore the results, calling the referendum illegal and demanding that Russia remove its troops and respect Ukraine’s territory and national sovereignty.

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.