Billboards in Ukraine’s southern Crimea region urge people to vote in Sunday’s referendum and offer a choice between a map of the peninsula painted with a Russian flag or one emblazoned with a Swastika.
One poster encourages people to vote to stop fascism, suggesting the vote was a way of stopping Ukraine’s far-right radicals coming to power.
In the Soviet World War II “hero city” of Sevastopol, where part of the Russian Black Sea fleet is based, two residents reacted to the pro-Russia billboard campaign.
One lady said: “Russia came here and imposed its own policies on us .. its own views with big money, saying everything will be well. Tell me. Is everything in Russia well?
A local man said: It turned out that with Russia, it is more stable, because you’ve seen the mess on the streets of Kyiv.”
Meanwhile a joint naval exercise started on Wednesday in the Black Sea just across the water from the Crimean Peninsula.
A US guided-missile destroyer and part of the US Sixth Fleet headquartered in Italy, joined the manoeuvres with a Bulgarian naval frigate and three Romanian vessels.
The US said exercises were planned before the crisis in Ukraine.