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Ukraine's Crimea Marks Day of Autonomy

SIMFEROPOL -- Autonomy Day is being marked in Ukraine's Crimea region on the 18th anniversary of the passing of a referendum on the peninsula's autonomous status.

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports that concerts, gatherings, and exhibitions are being held in Crimea.

In 1991, 93 percent of Crimea's residents voted to revive the autonomous status the region had as a subject the Soviet Union. Crimea was an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1945, and then an autonomous region within the Russian Soviet Republic until February 19, 1954.

The peninsula's indigenous people, Crimean Tatars, who now make up 13 percent of the population, boycotted the referendum in 1991.