SIMFEROPOL, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Turnout stood at 44.27 percent four hours into Crimea's referendum, an official said Sunday.
Mikhail Malyshev, chairman of the referendum commission, said that the highest turnout rate stood at 64 percent in one of the 27 polling areas.
There are 27 polling areas on the peninsula for 1,205 polling stations on Sunday.
Malyshev described the high turnout as something never seen since Soviet times.
Polling stations still have eight hours before closing on Sunday, with some 1.5 million registered voters expected to turn out for the third referendum in the history of Crimea.
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UNITED NATIONS, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Moscow on Saturday vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that declared invalid a planned referendum in Ukraine's autonomous republic of Crimea on whether to break away and join Russia.
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