This Happened - March 16: The Crimean Referendum
Crimea voted on this day in 2014 in a controversial referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia.
Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.
When was the Crimean referendum held?
The referendum was held after the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the subsequent political crisis in Ukraine. The referendum was controversial as it was not recognized by the Ukrainian government or many other countries, and was considered illegal by the Ukrainian constitution, notably for the presence of Russian troops.
What was the result of the Crimea referendum?
The referendum had a turnout of 83% of eligible voters, and according to official results, 96.77% of voters supported the idea of Crimea joining the Russian Federation. However, the legitimacy of the results has been questioned by many international organizations and governments.
Why was the Crimea referendum controversial?
The referendum was controversial for several reasons. First, it was conducted under the presence of Russian troops who had entered Crimea prior to the referendum. Second, the referendum was held without the consent of the Ukrainian government or international observers, and many people were not given the opportunity to vote. Third, the wording of the referendum was biased, and the choices offered did not include the option of maintaining the status quo.
What happened after the results of the Crimean referendum?
Russia recognized Crimea as an independent state the day after the referendum and later annexed it on March 21, 2014. The annexation of Crimea was widely condemned by the international community, and several countries imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government did not recognize the results of the referendum and declared it illegal. Ukraine considers Crimea as an integral part of its territory and has continued to seek international support to reverse the annexation of Crimea by Russia.