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A million and a half Crimean voters cast ballots in a referendum on Sunday, March 16, overwhelmingly approving a move to join Russia.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Viktor Nicolaivitch Sirodkin wanted his grandson, Anton, to be present to witness the vote.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Outside a polling station, pro-Russian Crimeans showed their support for Moscow by waving Russian flags.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech supporting the annexation of Crimea. The speech was hailed by a small pro-Russian demonstration in the Crimean capital of Simferopol.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Despite an international outcry, Russia has stood by its move to make Crimea part of its territory. Moscow is already in de facto control of Crimea.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Tensions rose on Wednesday as pro-Russian militias in the coastal city of Sevastopol announced they had “taken away” Ukrainian navy commander Sergiy Gayduk. He was later released unharmed.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

A Russian Zodiac passes near a flood barrier decorated with both Ukrainian and Russian flags. The navies from both countries have worked side by side in Sevastopol since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

The winds of secession are also being felt in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Gavrielko Alexei (left) gathered a group of volunteers to ensure Lenin’s statue was not vandalised by activists loyal to the new government in Kiev.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

On Thursday, coal miner Gavrielko Alexei posed with a flag at Lenin’s statue. “Ukraine is a country that was invented by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century to destroy Russia," he says.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Near the pro-Russian camp in Donetsk, a group of pro-Ukrainian activists are praying for peace and relying on police for protection.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

On Friday a border security guard at the Novoazovsk crossing controlled traffic to and from Russia. Concrete bulwarks, but no military reinforcements, are a new fixture at the border.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

Igor, a Ukrainian soldier from Dnipropetrovsk, has been mobilised about 60 kilometres from the Russian border. He is hopeful that a political solution can be found and a war with Russia prevented.
© Mehdi Chebil/FRANCE 24

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In pictures:
A turbulent week in Ukraine
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