SIMFEROPOL, Crimea, March 17 (Xinhua) -- A whopping 96.77 percent of Crimean voters chose to join Russia in Sunday's referendum on the status of Ukraine's autonomous republic, according to revised official results.
The previous figure provided by the All-Crimea Referendum commission was 96.6 percent.
Commission Chairman Mikhail Malyshev told an ongoing press briefing that the revision meant more Crimeans were in favor of reunification with Russia.
Crimeans in Simferopol and Sevastopol were seen celebrating the outcome of the referendum late Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Most, when asked, expressed their confidence this, the third such referendum in the peninsula's history, would direct them "home" to Russia.
The Crimea Peninsula, historically part of the Russian Federation, was transferred to Ukraine in May 1954, then a republic of the Soviet Union.
In May 1992, the Crimean Supreme Council (parliament) declared independence, pending a referendum, which was called off by the Ukrainian authorities.
Crimea held two other referenda, in 1991 and 1994, to test voters' preference for greater autonomy within Ukraine or uniting with Russia.
The supreme council decided on March 6 this year to hold the latest referendum, which was originally scheduled for March 30, after the new Ukrainian government decided to remove Russian as the official language on the peninsula.
The Crimean Supreme Council passed a resolution declaring independence on March 11 to pave the way for Sunday's referendum.
WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Sunday rejected a referendum in Crimea, in which exit polls showed a majority of voters in the autonomous republic of Ukraine voted to rejoin Russia, threatening "increasing costs" for Russia for its " military intervention and violation of international law." Full story
UNITED NATIONS, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China on Saturday made a three-point proposal on seeking a political solution to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, stressing that the key to resolving the crisis is to settle differences through dialogue and negotiations. Full story
BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- China on Sunday called for a political solution instead of confrontation after the United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
"China does not agree to a move of confrontation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in response to a question after the vote on Saturday. Full story