Crimea 'votes to rejoin Russia' after controversial poll

Almost the entire Crimean electorate today voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia, although the referendum was widely dismissed by the international community. With over half the votes...
A voter takes part in today's referendum in Crimea. Photo: Hannibal Hanschke/DPA/Press Association Images

Almost the entire Crimean electorate today voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia, although the referendum was widely dismissed by the international community. With over half the votes counted, election officials have said that over 95% of voters backed leaving the Ukraine.

The speaker of the region’s parliament has now said he expects Moscow to “respond quickly” to the result of the referendum. Crimea’s Prime Minister, Sergei Aksyonov, led crowds in chants of “Russia! Russia!” at a victory rally in the city of Simferopol.

Ukrainian Army T-72 tank, behind a low berm of quintessentially Ukrainian black soil. Near the Russian border, waiting for whatever comes next. This evening. Eastern Ukraine, where the population wonders whether the Kremlin, having guided Crimea through a secession vote, will order its troops to cross the border toward Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk. ©C.J. Chivers, for The New York Times

A reactive armor package on a T-64, an update on the predecessor of the T-72. Locally made, too — the T-64B series came from the Morozov plant right here in Kharkiv, not far from where we found this tank in a partial hull-down position in the field, behind a low berm of quintessentially Ukrainian black soil. Near the Russian border, waiting for whatever comes next. This evening. Eastern Ukraine, where the population wonders whether the Kremlin, having guided Crimea through a secession vote, will order its troops to cross the border toward Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk.

©C.J. Chivers, for The New York Times

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