My understanding is only about 60% of the area is ethnic Russians, the rest are Ukranians and Tatars (whatever they are). The ethnic Russians may support rejoining Russia, but the other groups, to my knowledge, do not.
Add in the fact that Russia has a very well known history of repressing their satellite states. Ukraine under Stalin was a world full of terror, repression and famine. Why people would want to rejoin a nation that did what Stalin did to them just 80 years ago is confusing to me.
So how could 97% of people vote to rejoin Russia? I’m assuming the election wasn’t valid (you can’t get 97% of people to agree on anything). But normally when dictators hold fake elections they get 99%+ of the vote. Why pick 97%, why not 55% or 99.9%? If this was a fake election, getting 58% or so of the vote would seem more realistic. Getting 75% would seem quasi realistic.
Wikipedia implies only 70-80% of people in Crimea voted for ousted president Yanukovych. That means the western leaning candidate got 20-30% of the vote. What happened to those voters?
Were only people who supported rejoining Russia allowed to vote?