A restive peace hangs over Crimea as the Black Sea peninsula awaits Sunday's referendum to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Troops from both countries are amassing across what was once a largely arbitrary border. With more than 50 per cent of the Autonomous Republic's population comprised of ethnic Russians (followed by Ukrainians and Muslim Tatars), it should come as no surprise that the vote will favour enlarging the world's largest country even further.
Unilaterally announced by the Crimean parliament, this vote has been decried as illegitimate by the G-7 nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (whose observers were turned away at gunpoint), international scholars and virtually everyone outside of Vladimir Putin's Russia -- as well as many inside it -- but it will not matter.
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