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Ukraine's Ethnically Divided Crimea Region

Crimea is Ukraine's only region where ethnic Russians are a majority, comprising approximately 60 percent of its 2 million population. From the 18th century until just 60 years ago this week, the peninsula was part of Russia. And as Ukraine's turmoil shakes the region's ethnic and religious fault lines, there is increasing talk that perhaps it should be again.

Pro-Russian graffiti in the town of Belgorosk ("We are with Russia")
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Pro-Russian graffiti in the town of Belgorosk ("We are with Russia")

Crimean parliament deputy and Russian nationalist Sergei Shuvainikov in his office in Simferopol. 
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Crimean parliament deputy and Russian nationalist Sergei Shuvainikov in his office in Simferopol. 

A sign in Shuvainikov's office advocating unity with Russia.
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A sign in Shuvainikov's office advocating unity with Russia.

The Tatar community in Simferapol is seeking to build a cultural center in this ruined building, although their application has been challenged by an organization of Russian women.
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The Tatar community in Simferapol is seeking to build a cultural center in this ruined building, although their application has been challenged by an organization of Russian women.

Exiled Crimean separatist Yury Meshkov adresses a meeting of pro-Russian separatists in Simferopol via Skype from Moscow.  
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Exiled Crimean separatist Yury Meshkov adresses a meeting of pro-Russian separatists in Simferopol via Skype from Moscow.  

A Christian message, a mosque, and an anti-Maidan billboard ('No to foreign interference!') on the road from Simferopol to Yalta.
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A Christian message, a mosque, and an anti-Maidan billboard ('No to foreign interference!') on the road from Simferopol to Yalta.

The roads of Crimea are blanketed by thousands of Stop maidan billboards installed by a mysterious, lavishly funded nongovernmental organization. 
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The roads of Crimea are blanketed by thousands of Stop maidan billboards installed by a mysterious, lavishly funded nongovernmental organization. 

Dolls in traditional costumes at a Tatar art and culture museum in Semferopol. 
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Dolls in traditional costumes at a Tatar art and culture museum in Semferopol. 

An World War II veteran leaves the Russia Cooperation Organization in Simferopol.
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An World War II veteran leaves the Russia Cooperation Organization in Simferopol.

A cemetery outside Belogorsk with Christian graves on one side of wall and Muslim on the other.
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A cemetery outside Belogorsk with Christian graves on one side of wall and Muslim on the other.

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An old Soviet war memorial in Simferopol, in front of the Crimean parliament.
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An old Soviet war memorial in Simferopol, in front of the Crimean parliament.

A statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in Yalta
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A statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in Yalta

Another Lenin monument in front of the Crimean government building in Simferopol. 
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Another Lenin monument in front of the Crimean government building in Simferopol. 

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