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SIMFEROPOL, Crimea – A senior pro-Western politician in Ukraine said Friday that his son and two others were kidnapped my masked men late at night.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, the former defense minister of Ukraine, said Oleksiy Hrytsenko, who is in his 30s, and two other Maidan Square activists were taken while driving through the region’s capital city.

The announcement, made on his Facebook page, came as the area counted down to Sunday’s controversial hastily-organized referendum on whether the region should break away from Ukraine and join Russia.

In a statement on his political website, Hrytsenko said that the trio’s cellphones had been traced by monitoring systems to a military base that was recently captured by Russian soldiers.

Alastair Jamieson contributed to this report from London.