Voter turnout in Sevastopol, Crimea, yesterday was a whopping 123%! It’s hard to understand why the referendum fell short of 100% support for joining Russia when there were so many “surplus” votes floating around.
But seriously, given that Tartars, who make up slightly more than 10% of the population were expected to boycott the vote, and a portion of the rest of Crimea’s pro-Ukrainian population probably did likewise, this “landslide” clearly had the assistance of Russian bulldozers.
What the outcome might have been of a free and fair (even though unconstitutional) vote with real choices for or against secession, we’ll never know.
— Ruthen (@RutheniaRus) March 17, 2014
The Associated Press reports: Final results of the referendum in Crimea show that 97 percent of voters have supported leaving Ukraine to join Russia, the head of the referendum election commission said Monday.
Mikhail Malyshev told a televised news conference that the final tally from Sunday’s vote was 96.8 percent in favor of splitting from Ukraine. He also said that the commission has not registered a single complaint about the vote.
The referendum was widely condemned by Western leaders who were planning to discuss economic sanctions to punish Russia on Monday. Ukraine’s new government in Kiev called the referendum a “circus” directed at gunpoint by Moscow.
But Valery Ryazantsev, head of Russia’s observer mission in Crimea and a lawmaker from the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Monday that the results are beyond dispute. He told the Interfax news agency that there are “absolutely no reasons to consider the vote results illegitimate.” [Continue reading…]