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You're reading: Brian Mefford: The third Russian annexation of Crimea

On March 16, 2014, a hastily organized “referendum” on the Crimean
peninsula produced a 96.77 percent vote in favor of joining Russia with 83.1 percent of
voters participating according to “official results.” It was a mathematical
result that is only produced in elections in modern Russia, Zimbabwe and North
Korea.  Two days later Vladimir Putin
announced the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

In 1783, Russia broke a treaty with the Ottomans guaranteeing Crimean
independence and annexed the peninsula.  

Three Russian annexations of Crimea is bad enough, but the overlooked
issue is the plight of the Crimean Tatars. 
Following their deportation in 1944, they were finally allowed to return
to Crimea only in the late 1980s, resulting in 250,000 persons making the journey
home.  Ironically, the Russia rule they
escaped 20 years ago has again been forced upon them.

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