Crimea holds first vote to Russian parliament


Simferopol—Shaded by cypress trees on Crimea’s Black Sea shore, a group of locals watch as folk singers in tall headdresses boom out a patriotic song about Russia with the lyrics: “I have no other motherland.”
Two-and-a-half years after Moscow annexed the strategic peninsula from Ukraine, residents are gearing up to vote Sunday in their first polls to elect deputies to Russia’s national parliament. The ballot in Crimea — not recognised by Kiev or the international community — looks set to bind the region still closer to Moscow as the new pro-Kremlin elite cements its grip.—AFP