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Aksyonov Elected As Annexed Crimea's Head

Crimea's parliament has elected Sergei Aksyonov head of the annexed peninsula in a unanimous vote.

All 75 lawmakers supported Aksyonov in the vote on October 9.

Aksyonov, 41, has served as acting head of Crimea since mid-April, weeks after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine following a referendum denounced as illegitimate by Kyiv, the West, and the UN General Assembly.

He played a key role in the annexation process that began after Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president sympathetic to Moscow, was toppled by antigovernment protests in Kyiv.

All 75 lawmakers in parliament supported Aksyonov in the vote on October 9.

Ukraine considers Crimea its territory, occupied by Russia, and says elections held by Russian authorities there are illegal.

Aksyonov has made tough comments targeting Crimea Tatars, who say their minority has faced abuses under Russian rule.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS