The website of the “President of Russia’s Council on Civil Society and Human Rights” posted a blog that was quickly taken down as if it were toxic radioactive waste. According to the Council’s report about the March referendum to annex Crimea, the turnout was a maximum 30%. And of these, only half voted for annexation – meaning only 15 percent of Crimean citizens voted for annexation. The fate of Crimea, therefore, was decided by the 15 percent of Crimeans, who voted in favor of unification with Russia (under the watchful eye of Kalashnikov-toting soldiers). The official Crimean election results, as reported widely in theWestern press, showed a 97 percent vote in favor of annexation with a turnout of 83 percent. No international observers were allowed. This pro-Russia election pressure would have raised the already weak vote in favor of annexation.
To make sure no one misses this:
Official Kremlin results: 97% for annexation, turnout 83 percent, and percent of Crimeans voting in favor 82%.
President’s Human Rights Council results: 50% for annexation, turnout 30%, percent of Crimeans voting in favor 15%.