Party time in Simferopol. The polls had hardly closed in Crimea’s capital and the streets were filled with music and national flags. Voters, families and children not yet old enough to take part in the ballot were set to dance the night away.
The polemic and posturing was left to the politicians, the people of this city were making their own statement. No official result was needed to confirm their wishes which for many in the crowd was a return to how it should be.
“This referendum? Well I can only say we are returning to our home. Today we have already returned home,” said one woman.
For some, too, it was about a vote for their children’s future and a chance to send a message to the Maidan protest and the change of government in Ukraine.
“Our children will live in a free country. Look what the right sector the Maidan protesters did with the country. They changed one thief for another and tried to impose on us a kind of democracy, is it democracy? This is democracy,” stressed one man.
“We think that tomorrow will be better than before. We are very glad that Russia has helped us. Russia gave us a friendly hand,” opined a woman.
This was a party for the moment and there was little thought given to any hangover from the result or celebrations.
Sergio Cantone, euronews’ correspondent in Simferopol, said: “A new chapter in the history of Crimea, and an international crisis beckoning in particular for the European continent. But here there is lots of happiness after the result of this referendum.”