Crimea Votes to Join Russia in Rigged Referendum
In a referendum widely denounced as rigged, and closely watched by Russian soldiers and "self-defense" forces, residents of the Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation on Sunday, with exit polls putting the result at 93%, according to the BBC.
The U.S. sponsored a UN Security Council Resolution declaring the vote invalid, but Russia vetoed it on Saturday, exercising its power as one of five permanent council members.
In a statement issued fifteen minutes after polls closed on Sunday, the White House warned that "we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another."
However, since both the U.S. and European Union have been reluctant to impose heavy sanctions, and the Obama administration has ruled out military action, it is not clear what that threat means.