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Crimea Votes In First Elections Since Annexation By Russia

Voters in Crimea went to the polls on September 14 to elect local city councilors and lawmakers in the regional parliaments of Crimea and Sevastopol. The election was the first since Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in March. Ethnic Crimean Tatars boycotted the vote to show their rejection of the legitimacy of Crimea's new Moscow-backed authorities. (RFE/RL)

At a polling station in Simferopol, Russia's double-headed eagle has replaced the Ukrainian emblem.
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At a polling station in Simferopol, Russia's double-headed eagle has replaced the Ukrainian emblem.

Irregularities were reported soon after the polling stations opened.
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Irregularities were reported soon after the polling stations opened.

A man casts his ballot in Simferopol.
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A man casts his ballot in Simferopol.

Turnout was reportedly lower than during the independence referendum that paved the way for Russia's takeover in March.
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Turnout was reportedly lower than during the independence referendum that paved the way for Russia's takeover in March.

A voter studies the ballot. Many residents of Crimea, voting in a Russian election for the first time, are unfamiliar with Russian political parties.
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A voter studies the ballot. Many residents of Crimea, voting in a Russian election for the first time, are unfamiliar with Russian political parties.

A quiet moment at a polling station
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A quiet moment at a polling station

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Election officials reported voter turnout at 60 percent.
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Election officials reported voter turnout at 60 percent.

Police, self-defense groups, election observers, and officials of the Emergency Ministry were all on watch at polling stations.
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Police, self-defense groups, election observers, and officials of the Emergency Ministry were all on watch at polling stations.

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