Observers, journalists not welcome to watch vote count at polling station in Simferopol

If respected international election observers had been allowed to watch Crimea’s referendum on whether to join Russia or merely gain greater autonomy from Ukraine, they would have found plenty of violations.

After polls closed at 8pm, more signs of trouble surfaced, with Kyiv Post and even Russian journalists being aggressively barred from watching the vote count in one polling station in central Simferopol. Police smashed a TV camera of a Russian crew. “We just wanted to see the vote count, but they called us provocateurs and pushed us away,” said Ekaterina Vinokurova of, crying.

Yevheny Bontman, a journalist with Echo Moskvy, said he saw many people were supporting Russia. “We just wanted to formally provide it during the vote count, but they pushed me away,” Bontman said. “We don’t have things like this in Russia.”

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.

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