SIMFEROPOL (QHA) -

An illegal referendum initiated by separatists began in Crimea at 08.00 on Sunday.

Two questions have been put up for the referendum: "Are you in favor of Crimea's reunification with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?" and "Are you in favor of restoring the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?" Ukrinform reported.

The vote will continue until 20.00.

Minimal turnout is not required for this referendum, as its organizers believe, it will be legitimate despite the number of people who come to the polls. The Ukrainian Central Election Commission blocked access to the register of voters, so the organizers of the referendum decided to use the lists for the 2012 elections. These lists include 1.5 million people.

The Ukrainian authorities do not recognize the referendum and the legitimacy of the local authorities in Crimea. The international community, apart from Russia, also believes the referendum is illegal.

The Crimean referendum was recognized as illegitimate by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the Venice Commission, the EU and the United States. A resolution urging all countries not to recognize the results of this referendum was submitted for consideration by the UN Security Council on March 15, but Russia vetoed the document.

QHA