A referendum poster in Crimea reading: "On 16 March we will choose either... or..."
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Ukraine crisis: Pro-Russians flock to Crimea vote

16 March 2014 Last updated at 18:17 GMT

Supporters of Crimea's attempt to secede from Ukraine and join Russia have flocked to vote in a referendum denounced by Kiev and Western powers.

Polls closed at 18:00 GMT and officials hailed a "record" turnout. Preliminary results were expected within hours.

A vast majority of voters interviewed by journalists backed secession. Many opponents boycotted the vote.

Daniel Sandford reports.