Int. Business Times
A public opinion poll taken in Crimea last year, before the referendum on Sunday that resulted in a 97 percent vote favoring secession from Ukraine and joining Russia, suggests that residents were far less enthusiastic about Russia. In fact, less than one-quarter of respondents wanted to join Russia, while the majority was in favor of retaining Crimea's status as an autonomous region of Ukraine.
Western powers rejected the validity of the vote. Crimea has been occupied de facto by Russian troops since late February.
The image below shows that 53 percent of poll respondents in May 2013 favored an autonomous Crimea within Ukraine, while only 23 percent wanted to be part of Russia -- a figure that became a 97 percent landslide in Sunday's vote.
-'Crimea should be separated and given to Russia' (Tan/Yellow)
This figure became 97 percent in Sunday's referendum vote.