SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) - Polls have closed in Crimea’s contentious referendum on seceding from Ukraine and seeking annexation by Russia.
The vote, unrecognized both by the Ukrainian government and the West, was held Sunday as Russian flags fluttered in the breeze and retirees grew weepy at the thought of reuniting with Russia.
The Crimea referendum offered voters on the strategic Black Sea Peninsula the choice of seeking annexation by Russia or remaining in Ukraine with greater autonomy. Secession was expected to be approved overwhelmingly amid high turnout.
Opponents of secession appeared to largely stay away Sunday, denouncing the vote as a cynical power play and land grab by Russia.