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Pro-Russian Crimeans toast future with Moscow after vote

Published on Mar 17, 2014 6:08 AM
Pro-Russian protesters celebrating in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 16, 2014 after preliminary results with half of ballots counted said 95.5 per cent of Crimeans voted in favour of joining Russia. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AFP) - Flags, chants and music plus plenty of alcohol filled the streets of Crimea's main cities on Sunday, March 16, 2014, after voters backed joining Russia and breaking away from Ukraine in a disputed referendum.

Some 5,000 people gathered in the historic port of Sevastopol for a celebration concert which started hours before polls closed and featured one of President Vladimir Putin's favourite bands.

Chants of "Sev-as-to-pol" and "Rus-si-a" rang around the city's Nakhimov Square, near the moored warships from Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

"Yes, I feel Russian - it feels great," said Ms Viktoria Niamchenko, 29, who was celebrating with a group of friends.

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