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High Turnout For Secession Vote In Crimea

As Russian flags fluttered in the breeze and retirees grew weepy at the thought of reuniting with Russia, residents of Ukraine's Crimea region held a secession vote Sunday. The United States and Europe condemned the referendum as illegal, while Ukraine's new government called it a "circus" directed at gunpoint by Moscow. 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. Opponents of secession appeared to largely stay away Sunday, denouncing the vote as a cynical power play grab by Russia. But turnout was reported to be well above the 50 percent that would make the referendum binding — and secession was expected to be approved overwhelmingly.

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