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Meeting for Crimea's association with Russia underway in downtown Simferopol
Several thousand people came to Lenin Square in Simferopol Sunday afternoon to take part in a meeting for association of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with Russia as a constituent territory.
This issue has been put up for a referendum that will be held in Crimea March 16.
The authorities called on the residents of Simferopol and the whole of Crimea to cast their ballots in favor of reunification with Russia.
"We're living at a historical moment, as the March 16 referendum will put period to the question of who Crimea stands with and it stands with Russia," Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said at the meeting. "Thank you for throwing your shoulder into this cause. We'll win if we stand together."
Crimean parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, in his turn, told the gathering about the results of a recent visit by a Crimean delegation to Moscow.
"We returned from Moscow carrying some good news for you - our brotherly people is ready to incorporate us and we'll become a constituent territory of Russia," he said. "For this to happen, do come (to the polls) March 16 and vote the right way. We go back home March 16."
"A really historic time, a time of great fairness has come and Crimea is returning to Russia where it belongs," the republic's Deputy Prime Minister, Rustam Temirgaliyev said.
"The power of Banderovtsy (Ukrainian far-right radical nationalists - Itar-Tass) in Kiev is threatening with the blackouts and the blocking of water supplies but they've forgotten that that two hero-cities (the title awarded to separate cities in the USSR for their contribution to World War II combat operations - Itar-Tass), Sevastopol and Kerch, are located here and there's no putting the Crimeans to their knees," Temirgaliyev said.
The speeches of the three top leaders of Crimea were often interrupted by the participants chanting 'Russia!'. One could see dozens of flags of the Russian Federation and Crimea over people's heads.
Similar actions in support of the March 16 referendum are held in Sevastopol, Yevpatoria, and Kerch.
[Source: Itar Tass, Simferopol, 09Mar14]
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