Tag Archives: Mikhail Malyshev

Breaking news – Putin signs order to recognize Crimea as a sovereign independent state

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President Vladimir Putin has signed an order that Russia recognizes Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a referendum on Sunday with over 96% voting for integration into Russia.

“According to the will of the peoples of the Crimea on the all-Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014, [I order] to recognize the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status, as a sovereign and independent state,” the document reads.

The order comes into force immediately.

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Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated.

Crimea also addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the parliament said.

The Crimean parliament also unanimously voted to integrate of the region into Russia.

The parliament’s resolution comes after Sunday’s referendum which resulted in over 96 percent of voters answering ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic joining Russia. The overall voter turnout in the referendum was 81.37%, according to the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev.

He also stressed that there were no complaints concerning the voting process. Those international observers who came to Crimea made an official statement on Monday that the vote was free and conformed to international standards.

The international reaction to the Crimea’s referendum and its resolution was the implementation of sanctions. On Monday the EU and US slapped visa bans and financial restrictions against Russian and Ukrainian officials.

The White House stated that “the actions and policies” of the Russian government with respect to Ukraine “undermine democratic processes” and “threaten its peace,” sanctioning 11 officials. While the EU late on Monday introduced a list of 21 Russian and Crimean political figures that will be sanctioned for 6 months.

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Crimean parliament formally applies to join Russia

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial votes showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

Crimea declares independence, seeks UN recognition

The Republic of Crimea has addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state and called on Russia to integrate it into the Russian Federation. 96.77 percent of the Crimean population voted ‘for’ the integration in a referendum.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the legislation says.

Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated. The Supreme Council of Crimea unanimously voted to integrate of the region into Russia.

Ukrainian military units on Crimean territory are to be disbanded, with the military personnel allowed to stay and live on the peninsula, Interfax reported Crimean Supreme Council chairman Vladimir Konstantinov as saying.

“Those who, according to their beliefs, don’t accept the Crimean independence and stay true to the Ukrainian state won’t be persecuted,” the head of Crimea’s parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS. He added that the same principle will apply to government employees and security workers who took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine.

His comments came after more than 500 troops left Sevastopol to register at temporary checkpoints.

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

The Crimean Parliament also ruled that Ukrainian state property in the peninsula will become the property of the Republic of Crimea, Kryminform news agency reported.

The Crimean Parliament will remain the supreme legislative body of the republic until September 2015, or until a decision is made to integrate Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov called the referendum “a great farce,” saying it will never be recognized either by Ukraine or by the civilized world,” AFP reported.

It’s after the announcement of the official results: 96.77 percent of the Crimean population has voted ‘for’ integration of the region into the Russian Federation. The turnout was 83.1 per cent.

The referendum saw a massive turnout, with 81.3 percent of the eligible voting population participating, the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev, said.

There were 1,233,002 votes ‘for’ integration, with the total number of those who voted standing at 1,274,096 people.

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The referendum commission has not received any complaints, Malyshev stressed.

On Sunday evening, in Simferopol, the capital of the republic, at least 15,000 people have gathered to celebrate the referendum’s results in the central Lenin square, waving Russian and Crimean flags.

Next week, Crimea will officially introduce the ruble as a second official currency along with Ukrainian hryvna, Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov told Interfax. The dual currency is to be established in about six months.

Overall, the republic’s integration into Russia will take up to a year, the premier said. However, it wants to maintain relations with “economic entities, including Ukraine,” rather than burn bridges.

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About 95% of Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia – preliminary results

People celebrate as they wait for the announcement of preliminary results of today’s referendum on Lenin Square in the Crimean capital of Simferopol March 16, 2014

Around 95 percent of voters in the Crimean referendum have answered ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic joining Russia and less than 5 percent of the vote participants want the region to remain part of Ukraine, according to preliminary results.

With around 50 percent of the votes already counted, preliminary result show that 95.5 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia as a constituent unit of the Russian Federation. In Sevastopol, the number of those who voted ‘yes’ stands at 93 percent, according to the head of the Sevastopol commission, Valery Medvedev.

The preliminary results of the popular vote were announced during a meeting in the center of Sevastopol, the city that hosts Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

The overall voter turnout in the referendum on the status of Crimea is 81,37%, according to the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev.

Over a half of the Tatars living in the port city took part in the referendum, with the majority of them voting in favor of joining Russia, reports Itar-Tass citing a representative of the Tatar community Lenur Usmanov.

About 40% of Crimean Tatars went to polling stations on Sunday, the republic’s prime minister Sergey Aksyonov said.

In Simferopol, the capital of the republic, at least 15,000 have gathered to celebrate the referendum in central Lenin square and people reportedly keep arriving. Demonstrators, waving Russian and Crimean flags, were watching a live concert while waiting for the announcement of preliminary results of the voting.

International observers are planning to present their final declaration on the Crimean referendum on March 17, the head of the monitors’ commission, Polish MP Mateush Piskorski told journalists. He added that the voting was held in line with international norms and standards.

Next week, Crimea will officially introduce the ruble as a second official currency along with Ukrainian hryvna, Aksyonov told Interfax. In his words, the dual currency will be in place for about six months.

Overall, the republic’s integration into Russia will take up to a year, the Prime Minister said, adding that it could be done faster. However, they want to maintain relations with “economic entities, including Ukraine,” rather than burn bridges.

Moscow is closely monitoring the vote count in Crimea, said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Karasin.

“The results of the referendum will be considered once they are drawn up,” he told Itar-Tass.

The decision to hold a referendum was made after the bloody uprising in Kiev which ousted President Vladimir Yanukovich from power. Crimea – which is home to an ethnic Russian majority population – refused to recognize the coup-appointed government as legitimate. Crimeans feared that the new leadership would not represent their interests and respect rights. Crimeans were particularly unhappy over parliament’s decision to revoke the law allowing using minority languages – including Russian – as official along with the Ukrainian tongue. Crimeans staged mass anti-Maidan protests and asked Russia to protect them.

Officials count votes of today’s referendum in the Crimean capital of Simferopol March 16, 2014

 RT News.

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Crimea hopeful of referendum, ready to join Russia ‘by end March’

Children wave Russian flags during a mass pro-Russian rally in the center of Sevastopol, on March 8, 2014.

Children wave Russian flags during a mass pro-Russian rally in the center of Sevastopol, on March 8, 2014.

Crimea has fast-tracked preparations for the republic’s referendum and for its possible joining with Russia, statements from the autonomy’s leaders reveal. Though no decision has been made by Moscow, they say Crimea may be part of Russia by late March.

Amid the ongoing media hysteria on the alleged Russian “invasion” of Crimea, the region’s pro-Russian leaders are staying calm, if not jubilant. Following claims that the Ukrainian hryvna may soon be swapped for the Russian ruble, and that the result of the March 16 referendum on the future of the Autonomous Republic is “easily predictable” by the mood of the majority of Crimea’s population, they are now saying that joining Russia could take place this month.

“The transition from one jurisdiction to the other is a complicated process, but I think in the case of favorable outcome of the referendum, the Crimeans will be able to feel as citizens of another country within one month – within March,” the speaker of the region’s Supreme Council, Vladimir Konstantinov, said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Konstantinov then announced that if Crimea becomes Russian, the autonomy’s budget will become larger than under the Ukrainian standards. According to the speaker, the Crimean authorities “did not count on that” but the Russian side gave “guarantees” of budget enlargement.

Pro-Russian demonstrators raise their hands as they shout slogans during a rally in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on March 8, 2014.(AFP Photo

There was no immediate reaction from Moscow on statements coming from Simferopol, but earlier the State Duma – Russia’s parliament – said it would debate the issue of Crimea joining Russia only after the referendum takes place.

Earlier on Friday, Grigory Ioffe, first deputy chair of the region’s parliament, said that Crimea is not looking for any “privileges” from Russia if it joins the country, and that the Crimean authorities are certain the regional economy will prosper after getting rid of Ukrainian corruption.

Ioffe stressed that the “historic” referendum will be “very democratic and open” and will be held “in full compliance” with both the Ukrainian constitution and the international treaties that Ukraine had adopted. International observers, including those from the OSCE, as well as media and NGO representatives are “most welcome” to observe the referendum, he told journalists.

Crimea’s Central Election Committee is indeed expecting that some international observers will come to inspect the March 16 referendum, the committee’s head, Mikhail Malyshev, told Interfax on Saturday. About 1,250 voting stations will be set up for the event and over 2.2 million ballot papers printed. The autonomy’s population was just under two million people as of 2013, with Russians making up 58.5 percent of it, Ukrainians comprising 24.3 percent, and Crimean Tatars constituting an important minority of 12.1 percent.

While the Russian-speaking majority has for years been in favor of separating from Ukraine – at least by obtaining a broader autonomy and returning to the 1992 constitution – the Tatars have been divided on the issue. Many Tatars strongly reject the idea of Crimea joining Russia, as they have themselves been pushing for the creation of a national autonomy within the Ukrainian state.

Self-defense squads swear in

Thousands of pro-Russian demonstrators rallied in Sevastopol on Saturday, calling on everyone to cast their votes at the March 16 All-Crimean referendum. The city has a special status, and is officially not part of Crimean Autonomous Republic, but will nevertheless join the referendum and vote whether they want to become part of the Russian Federation.

Pro-Russia supporters attend a rally in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol March 8, 2014.

Organizers of the event displayed a huge banner with the words of famous Russian Admiral Pavel Nakhimov, who was killed in the Crimean War:

“Protect Sevastopol to the last!” Speaking at the rally, city administration officials promised that new, larger social security benefits are being readied for the residents of Sevastopol.

Pro-Russian activists have also announced a flashmob in support of the peninsular region joining Russia. They plan to gather at least 5,000 people to form a “living flag” of Russia on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the first batch of the so-called self-defense squads swore allegiance to Crimean authorities in Simferopol on Saturday.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov called the swearing-in ceremony a “historic event,” stating that Crimea’s own Armed Forces are being formed.

Speaking to journalists, Aksyonov said the forces will ensure that the referendum is held in a peaceful manner. He stressed that “the Armed Forces of the Republic of Crimea have been created for defense, not for offense.”

So far, the self-defense squads keeping peace and order across the peninsula have been mostly quiet when asked about their origins and command, but many maintained that they are Crimean citizens who joined the improvised militia as vigilantes to prevent the violent events of Kiev’s Maidan from engulfing Crimea. Others said they are from Russia, sparking media speculations that all these forces are in fact Russian military in disguise – something Russian President Vladimir Putin has categorically denied.

In eastern Ukraine, the weekend also started with mass pro-Russian demonstrations. A crowd of anti-Maidan demonstrators gathered to rally in the city of Donetsk, where the “People’s Governor” Pavel Gubarev was arrested along with dozens of pro-Russian protesters earlier on Thursday. Thick police presence was reported from the scene of the rally, which took place in front of the regional administration building, with at least 500 law enforcers, some unidentified armed men, and police vehicles maintaining order, according to Interfax.

In Kharkov, about 6,000 people rallied in protest of the coup-imposed Kiev authorities on the central Freedom Square. Some of the demonstrators later formed an anti-fascist march, in which some 1,500 people with Russian flags marched to the city’s Constitution Square.

The Kharkov, protesters demanded that coup-imposed regional heads show up and speak with them, but none of the authorities came out. The police did not attempt to block the rally. The demonstrators gave officers white tulips and tied St. George’s ribbons on riot shields.

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