KIEV: Crimeans voted in favour of a union with Russia as the result of Sunday’s referendum on on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia is out.
A total of 93 percent voted today in favor of leaving Ukraine to become part of Russia, the Republican Institute of Social and Political Studies said, citing exit polls from the vote in the Black Sea peninsula.
The Ukrainian government, the European Union and the U.S. all consider the referendum illegal. About 1.5 million Crimean voters were eligible to take part, according to the region’s prime minister.
As the West threatens to ratchet up sanctions if Russia doesn’t back down from annexing Crimea, Russian has deployed about 60,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, the government in Kiev said.
Ukraine closed border crossings to Russia and will mobilize as many as 15,000 volunteers in the next 15 days to defend the nation, officials said today.
Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, with Kiev accusing Moscow of pouring forces into the peninsula and warning separatist leaders “the ground will burn under their feet”.
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Moscow that Washington would not accept the outcome of the vote, which was likely to favor union with Russia for a region which has a Russian-speaking majority.
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