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Crimeans Show Their Colors Ahead of Secession Vote

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Pro-Russian sentiments are dominating the visual landscape in Crimea ahead of a referendum Sunday that will ask residents if they want the territory to become part of Russia.

Ukraine's government and Western nations have denounced the vote as illegitimate and warned Russia against trying to annex Crimea.

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A boy stands in front of the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on March 15, with members of Crimean self-defense units seen in the background.THOMAS PETER / Reuters
People swimming in the cold waters of Sevastopol harbor hold Russian national and navy flags on March 15, as a Russian Navy ship remains stationed in the background.VIKTOR DRACHEV / AFP - Getty Images
A man holds balloons in the colors of the Ukrainian flag near a fence, behind which stand members of the Ukrainian military who have been locked into their base, in Bakhchysarai, Crimea, on March 14. Hundreds of ethnic Tatars, a Crimean minority with deep roots in the area and who have long suffered under the Russians, held demonstrations throughout Crimea on Friday against the proposal for the peninsula to become part of Russia.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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