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    Posted March 14, 2014 by
    Sevastopol, Ukraine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    bdroachesq and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    Will Crimea's Referendum Vote Be Under Threat Of Russian Violence?


    The majority of News stories project Vladimir Putin’s Russian troop deployment in the Crimean Peninsula as a deliberate violation of the sovereign integrity of Ukraine. And that Crimea residents are opposed to such violation of international law and their countries sovereignty.


    Furthermore, its believed that the referendum scheduled to be held on March 16, 2014, for Crimea residents to decide to become a part of the Russian Federation will be done under the threat of force, which is demonstrated by the Russian troops stationed in the area. So, if the majority of Russian-speaking residents decide secession to Russia, the results should be void due to the lack for free will and/or voter intimidation during referendum process.


    That being said, does the West, which encompasses America and the European Union, and other countries really know what the people of Crimea want for their future when it comes to staying within Ukraine or being annexed to Russia? There is no easy answer because Russian troops have prevented international observers from entering the Crimean Peninsula, which would allow for somewhat of an adequate determination of the current standoff at hand and for an evaluation of what the people actually think, feel, and want for Crimea.


    However, when I look from an apartment window in Sevastopol, which is located on the bottom of the Crimean Peninsula, I see many Russian flags hanging from different apartment building balconies and windows that demonstrate their sign of support for Russia. Additionally, many of the residents upon being interviewed are pro Russian and want the opportunity to join the Russian Federation, which they plan to show Ukraine, Russia, and the West in their referendum vote.


    So, maybe we should take a step back and wait for the referendum results on Sunday. Let the people of the Crimea speak for themselves and mark a starting point to determine the Peninsula's future in Ukraine. This may be the opportunity Russian-speaking residents sought for many years, but remained silent, until today.

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