Are you trying to make it out to be like Bush in Florida?? 94% or more. If Russia had treated them like the US treats Cuba (and everybody else as well) the vote would have shown that. First you will lie to get what you can't get by being honest and then just kill everybody in the end anyway.
The Crimean referendum on Sunday will offer the electorate two options that are really the same thing. A voter can choose to support reunifying Crimea with Russia, as a constituent part of the Russian Federation. Or, a voter can support the "restoration" of the 1992 Crimean constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine. That Crimean constitution was a short-lived declaration of independence by the Black Sea peninsula's parliament in May, 1992; under it, Crimea was independent within Ukraine, and able to end those ties. It appears that voters have to choose between two different paths of exiting Ukraine. The status quo? Not on the ballot.
Well, we already knew that the referendum was going to be gamed, as Russia is keeping international observers out of Crimea, it has moved the date of the referendum from much later in the spring first to March 30, and now to March 16, and there is the detail of the occupation of Crimea by Russian troops. This is somewhat puzzling because it raises the question of why have a vote at all if the effort is devoid of any possible taint of legitimacy?
Certainly Vladimir Putin and his friends in Crimea are not concerned with impressing the international community with how free and fair this referendum will be. Otherwise, they might not be printing about 66 per cent more ballots than needed (2.5 million ballots for 1.5 million Crimean voters). Mr. Putin may resort to the usual international organization for monitoring a sham election in the former Soviet space – the Commonwealth of Independent States–which has monitored past elections Abhkazia, South Ossetia and Trans-Dniester.
The thing is Crimea was always a place settled by people from all over-and I mean All Over the Planet-after WW2 it ended up as part of Ukraine and life went on but I understand the ambivalent attitude present day residents themselves have.
The Ukrainian gubmint is an idiotic clown show run by ham handed ripoff artists funded by the West so who's to say life as a Russian province is any worse?
Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists began pulling back from a war-torn village in the Donbass region on Saturday, a significant move that could set the stage for a later summit between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in a bid to restore peace to the war-torn area.
Armed conflict between rebels backed by Moscow and Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014. More than 13,000 people have died to date, including thousands of civilians. More than 1.4 million Ukrainians have been displaced and nearly one million more have fled the country due to the unrest.
Both sides started to retreat from the frontlines in Petrivske at midday on Saturday, according to Ukraine military spokesman Andrei Andreev and the rebel news agency DAN.
The full pullback is expected to take three days, with both the Ukrainians and rebels moving one kilometer, or just over half a mile, away from the frontline. The area will be checked for mines following the pullback.
The withdrawal was slated to begin last weekend but was called off by Ukraine after it said there had been cease-fire violations by the Russian-supported rebels.
In 2015, pro-Russian groups protested in the Donbass region in Ukraine, specifically in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) areas, following the Ukrainian revolution and the resignation of Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Yanukovych's departure was followed by Russia's annexation of Crimea. The protests escalated into armed conflict between fighters backed by Moscow and the Ukrainian army.
On Oct. 29, both Ukrainian forces and the rebels reportedly pulled back in the DPR and LPR regions, fulfilling a pre-condition for an in-person meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The disengagement of troops is seen as the final step before peace talks can begin.
Another move that signaled a thaw in relations came when Ukraine and the rebels exchanged 35 prisoners in September.
However, a final resolution of the conflict is unclear. Ukrainians continue to argue over how and when elections could be held in the rebel-held territories that would allow the areas to be given a special status within Ukraine.
Zelensky, who was elected in April, has made it a priority to end the conflict in Donbass. But he has been met with resistance and protests from Ukrainians who fear making concessions to Putin and opening the door for Moscow to continue to encroach on the country.
Zelensky last month said the rebel-held regions in Donbass should be reintegrated, and there needs to be "reconciliation and healing the wounds."
The Ukrainian government “has to find a solution that would be supported by an absolute majority," he had said. “Society needs to be aware and needs to accept the terms of the reintegration. The lack of a common vision will paralyze our movement.”
Former President Petro Poroshenko, Zelensky's predecessor, said Saturday that "people want peace, but not surrender."
"In the context of simply withdrawing our troops, residents of the frontier areas are extremely concerned about security," he said.
PARIS, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday agreed to commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before the end of 2019, according to a joint communique.
Meeting face to face at a four-way summit with the leaders of France and Germany in Paris, all sides also agreed to push for an "all for all" prisoner exchange by the end of the year.
"The sides commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire, strengthened by the implementation of all necessary ceasefire support measures, before the end of the year 2019," the communique said.