95% of voters, out of a 81% turnout, chose to join Russia. 3% voted to remain in Ukraine with an improved status and 1% issued null votes (→ RT).
Crimea was once part of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federative Republic (now Russian Federation) but was given away to Ukraine by decree of Krushev, who was Ukranian himself. After the dissolution of the USSR, it remained part of Ukraine in spite of some tensions, although Russia was allowed special military rights in the area of Sevastopol, which hosts a major naval base.
After the fascist coup in Kiev, Crimeans quickly moved to establish their own independent status under Russian protection and soon their Parliament decided to unilaterally change the status quo, calling for a referendum in which citizens would vote for either remaining in Ukraine under much greater self-rule or join Russia.
They also voted to improve the status of the reluctant Crimean Tatar minority and make their language co-official.
It is clear to me that all peoples have the fundamental right to self-determination and while the circumstances leading to this episode are no doubt exceptional and I am no fan of Putin's Russia at all, I can't but congratulate the Crimean people for exerting their right to self-rule, more so in front of outright fascism.
Ukrainian Army marches to the east but is contested by civilians
As heavy military equipment marches to the rebellious East of Ukraine, civilians have confronted them in many places. Often blocking them.
While the soldiers appear to be reluctant to take part in the militaristic build up and especially to confront the civilians in any way, armed groups without badge, most likely political commissaries of the fascist parties, have threatened the civilians with their guns and pressed the soldiers to obey orders.
|Blockaded military convoy|