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Crimea referendum: "a piece of theatre orchestrated by Russia" - say Kyiv activists

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Crimea referendum: "a piece of theatre orchestrated by Russia" - say Kyiv activists

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The reaction to the referendum in Crimea was one of incredulity in the Ukrainian capital.

As the results came in activists on Independence Square criticised the poll as a piece of theatre orchestrated by Russia.

“They said that voter turnout was very high but nobody believes this. We don’t believe this, the whole world doesn’t believe this. Only Russia believes it. We cannot leave the people of Crimea. We will fight together till the end,” said a defiant Maidan activist.

Others said the referendum should have been for the whole of Ukraine, while some said they feared the worst:

“This conflict could be the biggest, it could be a war, but not just between Ukraine and Russia….maybe it will be a third world war,” was the opinion of one Kyiv resident.

On Sunday the Ukrainian army was seen to be reinforcing its presence on the border with Crimea.

Kyiv claims the poll is illegal and has issued arrest warrants for Crimea’s parliamentary speaker and prime minister on charges of attempting to seize state power.