Final results of the referendum in Crimea show that 96.8% of voters support leaving Ukraine to join Russia. Mikhail Malyshev, head of the referendum election commission, said that the commission has not registered a single complaint about the vote.

The referendum was widely condemned by Western leaders who are meeting to discuss economic sanctions to punish Russia. Ukraine's new government in Kiev called the referendum a "circus" directed at gunpoint by Moscow.

Electoral officials wait to collect the vote of World War 2 veteran Grinevich Oleksander in Bachchisaray, a mostly Russian area of Crimea
Electoral officials wait to collect the vote of World War 2 veteran Grinevich Oleksander in Bachchisaray, a mostly Russian area of CrimeaGetty
A boy stands in front of the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on the eve of the referendum
A boy stands in front of the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on the eve of the referendumReuters
Election commission officials prepare polling booths in the colours of the Russian flag at a polling station in Simferopol
Election commission officials prepare polling booths in the colours of the Russian flag at a polling station in SimferopolGetty
People vote inside a polling station in Perevevalne
People vote inside a polling station in PerevevalneGetty
A woman with a costumed dog waits to vote at a polling station in Sevastopol
A woman with a costumed dog waits to vote at a polling station in SevastopolReuters
A Ukrainian police officer stands on duty at the entrance to a polling station in Simferopol
A Ukrainian police officer stands on duty at the entrance to a polling station in SimferopolReuters
An official stands next to clear boxes containing completed voting forms at a polling station in Bakhchisaray
An official stands next to clear boxes containing completed voting forms at a polling station in BakhchisarayReuters
Completed ballot papers are clearly seen inside a polling station in Simferopol,
Completed ballot papers are clearly seen inside a polling station in Simferopol,Getty
Electoral officials give directions to a voter at a polling station in Simferopol
Electoral officials give directions to a voter at a polling station in SimferopolGetty
A man wearing a 'Ukraine' jacket enters a polling booth in Sevastopol
A man wearing a 'Ukraine' jacket enters a polling booth in SevastopolReuters
A man wearing a 'Russia' jacket attends a rally in Lenin Square, Simferopol
A man wearing a 'Russia' jacket attends a rally in Lenin Square, SimferopolGetty
Pro-Russian demonstrators scuffle with police during a rally in Donetsk. Ukraine accused
Pro-Russian demonstrators scuffle with police during a rally in Donetsk. Ukraine accused "Kremlin agents" of fomenting violence in Russian-speaking citiesReuters
Demonstrators take part in a pro-Russian rally in Odessa
Demonstrators take part in a pro-Russian rally in OdessaReuters
Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov stands in front of Russian flags on a stage on Lenin Square in Simferopol as preliminary results of the referendum are announced
Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov stands in front of Russian flags on a stage on Lenin Square in Simferopol as preliminary results of the referendum are announcedReuters
People wrapped in Russian flags watch as celebratory fireworks explode after the preliminary results of the referendum are announced on Lenin Square in Simferopol
People wrapped in Russian flags watch as celebratory fireworks explode after the preliminary results of the referendum are announced on Lenin Square in SimferopolReuters
A Russian army MI-35 military helicopter patrols the area as Ukrainian servicemen guard a checkpoint near the village of Strelkovo in the Kherson region, adjacent to Crimea
A Russian army MI-35 military helicopter patrols the area as Ukrainian servicemen guard a checkpoint near the village of Strelkovo in the Kherson region, adjacent to CrimeaReuters