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Ukraine's Crimea seeks to become independent state

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    A member of a self defense volunteer group smokes a cigarette as he sits outside a tent in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

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    A woman poses for a photograph next to a wall composed of paving stones and adorned with flowers and candles placed in memory of those who died in clashes which took place in late February in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

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    Flowers placed by people in memory of those who died in late February's clashes are lit by the early morning sun in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

KIEV, Ukraine — The Crimean parliament has voted that the Black Sea peninsula will declare itself an independent state if its residents vote to split off from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday.

Crimea’s regional legislature today adopted a “declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”

The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote in favor of joining Russia in the referendum.

Western nations have said they will not recognize the vote as legitimate.

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