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Lawmakers in Crimea's parliament voted Thursday to move up a planned referendum on the semi-autonomous region's future, and to change the question from whether Crimea should get "state autonomy" status within Ukraine to whether it should join Russia, ratifying parliament's unanimous decision, or remain in Ukraine with expanded powers. The vote will be on March 16, rather than the original date of May 25.
"This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev," says Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the Crimean legislature. "We will decide our future ourselves." Crimea is 60 percent ethnic Russian, but in a February poll, only 41 percent of Crimeans wanted to join Russia.