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RFE/RL Reports: Counting Down to Sunday's Referendum in Crimea

A woman walks by a mural depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin giving a hand to Ukrainians in Simferopol on March 12, 2014.

A woman walks by a mural depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin giving a hand to Ukrainians in Simferopol on March 12, 2014.

Crimea is occupied by Russian forces and a referendum planned for March 16 could see the peninsula annexed by Russia. The United States and the EU have said the referendum is in breach of international law, and while Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk meets with President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells Paralympic athletes that Moscow is not to blame. The latest on the crisis in Ukraine from RFE/RL and its Ukrainian Service, Radio Svoboda.

# LIVEBLOG: Everything you need to know about what's happening in Ukraine.

# REDDIT AMA: Rim Gilfanov, Director of RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service and author of recent reports on Tatar-Russian tensions in Crimea, will hold a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat on Friday at 12 pm EST/5 pm CET. (Follow updates for live links on Twitter.)

# GRAPHIC: Russian Bases in the Former Soviet Union.

# The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. #UkraineUnspun, written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL, will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians, and activists. (See also, Russian Service correspondent Valentin Baryshnikov's report on Russia's shrinking independent media under renewed pressure as a result of reporting on Ukraine.)

# COMMENTARY: If Slobodan Milosevic were alive today, he could probably sue Vladimir Putin for plagiarism. Nenad Pejic, RFE/RL's Editor-In-Chief of Programming who witnessed the outbreak of Bosnia-Herzegovina's 1992-95 war, on how events in Crimea are bringing back some eerie memories.

# Officials in Kyiv have warned that Russian military forces are massing on Ukraine's borders "in an offensive manner" and suggested they could be preparing for an invasion in the country's East. Is there any evidence to support the claim? Correspondent Ron Synovitz takes a closer look.

# In Kyiv and in Western Ukraine, those who clashed with police in the EuroMaidan protests have been elevated as heroes and martyrs. But for many in Ukraine's Russophone East, that logic is reversed and it's the police who are the heroes. Correspondent Tom Balmforth spoke to some veterans of the Berkut riot police in the eastern industrial city of Donetsk.

# The standoff is creating bitter rifts in Russia's artistic community, as Russian cultural luminaries publish rival open letters – one backing their country's invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula, the other condemning what they call an act of aggression against Ukraine. By correspondents Valentin Baryshnikov and Lilya Palveleva.

# Beloved Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan says it's not language that's dividing the country, but what's being said. Report by correspondents Jan Maksymiuk and Claire Bigg.

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