The secession of the Autonomous Region of Crimea from the Ukraine is still moving apace, with Russian deployments into the peninsula forestalling any possible Ukrainian military action to crush the movement.
The referendum is approved by Crimea’s parliament for May, while the premier is hoping to move that up to the end of March. Experts say that with growing fear over the new Ukrainian government and rhetoric flying back and forth, secession is likely to be approved.
The majority of Crimea’s population is ethnic Russian, and the new Ukrainian government taking a vocally anti-Russian stance since their installation. Many Crimeans envision reaccession into the Russian Federation.
But what form the secession will actually take remains very much to be seen. The referendum’s language hasn’t been finalized yet, but they are expected to have a choice between independence, remaining part of the Ukraine, or seeking Russian annexation.
The international legal questions are also to be settled, with the US forcing other secessionist regions that were pro-Russian, like Abkhazia, to remain unrecognized de-facto independent nations.