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How Quickly Crimea Is Becoming Russia, in Photos How Quickly Crimea Is Becoming Russia, in Photos

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How Quickly Crimea Is Becoming Russia, in Photos

Thanks to these images, we can watch Russia take a Ukraine territory as its own right before our eyes.

photo of Marina Koren
March 18, 2014

The latest developments in the Ukraine crisis have come at lightning speed.

Fewer than 48 hours passed between Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine on Sunday and Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement Tuesday that Russia would annex the peninsula. The Crimean parliament has already voted to move the peninsula to Moscow time (two hours ahead) starting March 30, and made the ruble its official currency. In Moscow, a mass rally is in full swing in Red Square to celebrate Crimea's accession, which is expected to be formally ratified soon.

But nothing shows just how quickly Crime has changed hands as scenes from the region on the day of Putin's announcement. In the streets, Russian citizens cheer and chant "Russia!" and any hint that the region was once Ukraine's is being swiftly stripped away. The region's minority population of Crimean Tatars, which has resisted the Russian intervention, could only watch the situation unfold. 


A Russian flag has already replaced the flag of Crimea in the courtyard of the parliament building in Simferopol.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Workers dismantle the inscription reading "The Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea" in the Crimean Tatar language on the parliament building.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Really dismantle it.



People wave Russian flags and cheer as they listen to Putin's speech Tuesday, which was broadcast on a giant screen in Sevastopol.


A Crimean resident prepares to exchange Ukrainian Hryvnia money for Russian rubles outside of an exchange office in Sevastopol.


People react to a "Closed" sign on the door of Privatbank, Ukraine's largest commercial bank, in Sevastopol. The bank's branches in Crimea have struggled to deliver sufficient cash in recent days, and it shut down its operations following Putin's announcement.



Not much celebrating in the long lines outside the bank, which remains closed.


A man sits on a bench bearing the Crimean flag, outside the Crimean parliament in Simferopol. As Russians celebrated the news of the day, Crimean Tatars mourned the death of Reshat Ametov, a Crimean Tatar who protested the Russian incursion. Ametov was found dead Tuesday, days after he was reportedly taken by a group of unidentified men.

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