© Chappatte in NZZ am Sonntag, Zurich
A referendum on the status of Crimea is scheduled to be held on 16 March 2014 by the local government of Crimea as well as by the local government of Sevastopol; neighboring subdivisions of Ukraine located in the Crimean peninsula and populated by large Russian-speaking majorities, most of them ethnic Russians. It is still unknown if international observers will be allowed to monitor the referendum. So far, observers from OSCE have attempted to enter into Crimea three times but have been unable to. Read more >>
The cartoon by Chappatte from NZZ am Sonntag shows a voter in a Russian fur hat standing next to a ballot box holding a placard which says "Crimea Referendum on Joining Russia". Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in a tank flanked by two heavily-armed soldiers, says "We are the international observers."
A referendum is an occasion when all the people of a country can vote on an important issue. • German Chancellor Merkel has called on EU states to remain calm after a controversial Swiss referendum which limits the number of immigrants within its borders.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, both Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have denied that Russian soldiers are occupying Crimea, saying the masked troops are "local" forces. Or maybe international observers!