Crimea Preps for Referendum

Ukraine

A member of a pro-Russian self defense unit checks a polling station while guarding it in the municipality of Dobroe, near Simferopol, Ukraine,Thursday, March 13, 2014. In a last-minute bid to stave off a new chapter in the East-West crisis over Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Thursday that it faces immediate and “very serious” sanctions if it annexes Ukraine’s strategic Crimea region. The warnings from the West served as a last attempt to head off a confrontation over Crimea, which holds a vote Sunday on whether to break off from Ukraine and perhaps join Russia.