The record number of people showed up on the referendum yesterday. According to the historical statistics it is the highest number ever in Crimea. Even people who are apolitical attended the referendum and the greatest majority of them though out the whole Crimean peninsula voted to join Russia with the final result 96.77% – according to the Crimean referendum website. Here is a map of cities and the amount of voters by the city. Green color is urban area & orange color is rural:
People all over Crimea celebrated. The two major cities – Sevastopol and Simferopol had concerts and fireworks. People said they were ready to celebrate till the morning. Everyone said they were waiting for this day for over 22 years, and now they are finally coming home to Russia. This day probably will be celebrated in Crimea for many years to come and will be written in textbooks as a big historical event.
Today in the morning, the very next day after the referendum the local authorities in Sevastopol ordered to take off the Ukrainian symbols in the city. Soon they will be replaced with the Russian ones.
The last few weeks in Crimea have been quite provocative. After the violent coup that happened in Kiev, Crimea formed its own government and stopped obeying Kiev. The new Crimean government announced they would start nationalizing the Ukrainian military and some of the land and businesses that were privatized or obtained illegally during the 22 years of Ukrainian independence. As a response Kiev demanded to turn two of its ships in Sevastopol into scrap metal. The two ships are not operational and have been used just for academic purposes and barracks. The approximate value of the scrap metal of one ship is around a million dollars. The whole world was watching the tensions over the Crimea and its referendum.
There were several cyber-attacks on the Russian government websites and major news websites as well. Also the website of the Crimean referendum: referendum2014.ru was under a massive DDoS attack. An investigation concluded that the attack was committed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UIUC. The Crimea referendum website does not have any specific information, so the reason behind the attack was apparently just to create obstacles for the referendum and demoralize people from participating. This is actually nothing in comparison to all the threats that US and EU confronted Russia and Crimea with including NATO military exercises next to Ukrainian and Belorussian border, various sanctions, and Obama saying that Russia will pay for this. At the same time if you take a look at the video above or any other video on YouTube showing how happy the people of Crimea were to be reunited with Russia how can anybody criticize the the actions of Russia if 97% of people support the result of the referendum. On this video there is Obama with the self proclaimed prime minister of Ukraine – the impostor who participated in the violent coup and who is asking for help of US.
The double standards in this video are astonishing just like in any other video where US politicians talk on geopolitics. All of this says the country that invaded and destabilized a countless number of countries all over the world, and including Ukraine as well. Just few weeks ago they were supporting radicals in Kiev that stood behind the coup; these who burned the downtown Kiev under the guise of democracy and freedom!
Many people in the south-east of Ukraine are demanding to have a referendum to be reunited with Russia. There is however many obstacles both foreign and domestic, mostly foreign because without foreign sponsorship the self-proclaimed criminal government with their Nazi mercenaries in Kiev won’t be able to stand against millions of people in the south-east and against Russia. People in the south-east are expecting to be reunited with Crimea and Russia in the future. Also some Russian politicians already openly said that they can’t stop till the south-east is reunited with Russia. The two main reasons for this is to stop NATO expansion into Ukraine and the second to provide protection for these who are being harassed right now by the new illegitimate self-proclaimed government and their Nazis form the “Right Sector”. Ideally the central part should be reunited too as a separate autonomous federation, but at this point it is not likely, many people over there are under western ideology, not to mention these regions have to be freed from the fascist government first. The self defense squads in Crimea already said that they have plenty of military technology including armored cars from the Ukrainian military bases that were nationalized by the new independent Crimean government. So according to them if necessary they are willing to help Odessa and other regions.
It is only the beginning for both Russia and USA; the interest of Ukraine at this point is not taken into account, since the government of Ukraine does not exist anymore. If Russia doesn’t stand its ground on the Ukrainian land, the US will be able to expand NATO bases into the west and center of Ukraine, and in such a case the NATO missiles will be the additional 500 km closer to Moscow…
As for now people in Crimea and Russia keep celebrating the Crimean homecoming; many of these Crimeans who are abroad will come back to a different country.
Update: Today, March 18 – Crimea and Sevastopol officially became parts of the Russian Federation. It is stated in the treaty that was signed today in Moscow that all of these who live in Crimea and Sevastopol automatically become citizens of Russian Federation. If someone doesn’t want to be a citizen of Russia they will have to notify about this within one month from today. Here is the video of Putin signing the treaty to make Crimea a part of Russia:
(Click the CC icon on the video player below, to watch with subtitles in English)