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After the Sevastopol and Crimean parliament voted to join Russia, on Sunday 16th March the people in Crimea went to the ballot deciding on the status of Crimea. The referendum was held by the legislature of Crimea as well as by the local government of Sevastopol and asked the people of these regions to decide whether they want to rejoin Russia as a federal subject (Crimea was integrated into Ukraine in 1954), or if they want to restore the 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine. A return to the 1992 constitution would have been translated into greater authority in the semi-autonomous peninsular, including full sovereign powers to establish relations with other states. However, there was no option of maintaining the status quo.
According to officials 95.7% of Crimeans who went to the ballots voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. The result of the referendum signals first of all Crimean's independence and its union with Russia. Secondly, the result means that Crimea will adopt Russian rouble within one month and thirdly that it will move to Moscow on 30th March. Finally, it means that Crimean based soldiers would have the choice to join Russian military.
Soon after, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as a sovereign state- marking the first for its absorption into Russia- the international community rejected the referendum's validity by calling it illegal. Indeed, the UN Security Council voted on a resolution that would have declared the vote invalid. Thirteen of the 15th Security Council members approved the US-drafted motion with China abstaining it and Russia of course vetoing it.