Crimea referendum: Voters ‘back Russia union’

Some 95.5% of voters in Crimea have supported joining Russia, officials say, after half the votes have been counted in a disputed referendum.

Crimea’s leader says he will apply to join Russia on Monday. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has said he will respect the Crimean people’s wishes.

Many Crimeans loyal to Kiev boycotted the referendum, and the EU and US condemned it as illegal.

Pro-Russian forces took control of Crimea in February.

They moved in after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after street protests.

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