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Crimeans vote to join Russia

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 16 2014 06:36:57 PM CDT

The voters in Crimea, the Black Sea Peninsula, overwhelming have rejected their Ukrainian citizenships to become Russians.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The voters in Crimea, the Black Sea Peninsula, overwhelming have rejected their Ukrainian citizenships to become Russians.

Voters had the choice to join Russia or to become an independent state. 95 percent of Crimeans voted to once again join Russia.

Voters streamed into polling places across the region. Most against the vote were boycotting and stayed home. There were no internationally recognized monitors there to cerify the vote, but it is a rubber stamp for Russia.

"For many people in Crimea particularly the Russian population, they probably would welcome being part of Russia again,” said UCCS Political Science Professor Josh Dunn.

The region was once part of the Ottoman Empire. Russia then took control of Crimea, and later the Soviet Union was formed. In 1954, Crimea became part of Ukraine.

"It's changed hands many times over the centuries,” said Dunn.

Now the Black Sea Penisula could soon be back in Russia's hands.

"The Ukrainian economy has not been doing very well and so they probably suspect that they would do better under Russia,” said Dunn.

Dunn said it looks like the United States will impose some sanctions and that there will be some tension.

It’s tension that Dunn says Russian President Vladmir Putin is willing to take.

"The collapse of the Soviet Union he still views as a kind of disaster. And so reclaiming these territories that had been part of this greater Russia during the Soviet area is something he would like to do,” said Dunn.

Dunn doesn't believe the u-s will stop President Putin from getting what he wants.

"We'll probably do something to make it look like we've tried to retaliate or stand up to Putin's aggression, but in the end they're likely those actions will be ineffective,” he said.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 spoke with a Colorado Springs man on the phone who has family in Crimea.He says his relatives wanted to vote against becoming part of Russia. They lived through the Cold War and are scared what may happen now.

The Crimean parliament will formally ask Moscow to be part of Russia on Monday (3/17/14).

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