Voting in Crimean referendum starts even as Ukraine government declares it illegitimate

Balloting began at 8am on March 16 2014 in a Crimean referendum that asks peninsula voters whether they want to join Russia or simply declare more autonomy from Ukraine for the region’s two million residents. The vote is widely considered to be a sham with an outcome pre-determined by the Kremlin and its prime minister in Crimea, Serhiy Aksyonov, whose authority the central government in Kyiv does not recognise.

Polls close at 8pm tonight.

The vote comes a day after Ukraine’s Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the referendum unconstitutional and Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted also on March 15 to dissolve Crimea’s pro-Kremlin parliament. The measure won with 278 out of 450 possible votes.

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.

(A woman holds up a ballot at a polling station in Crimea before casting her vote in the March 16 2014 referendum. Photo: Provided, via The Kyiv Post.)