93% of voters have elected to join the Russian Federation according to a statement by the Crimean Election Commission. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, new Prime Minister of the Ukraine, stated that the Ukraine would not recognize the results of the referendum and added, “Also taking part in the performance are 21,000 Russian troops, who with their guns are trying to prove the legality of the referendum.”

The referendum had two options for voters: secede from the Ukraine and join the Russian Federation or remain part of the Ukraine under the 1992 Constitution which would have given the Crimean regional government semi-autonomous status though it would have technically remained part of the Ukraine. The secession of the Crimea and likely annexation of it by Russia was set in motion by the fall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who fled Kiev last month amid strong protests against his rule.

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[Al Jazeera]