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Rep. Maloney Rallies Alongside Ukrainian New Yorkers Ahead Of Crimea Referendum

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — It appears nothing will stop a controversial referendum in Crimea, Ukraine.

The United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution to block the referendum set for Sunday in which Crimea’s citizens will vote on whether they want to become part of Russia.

Russia was the only country to veto the proposal, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported.

The move was expected, but still drew immediate criticism, especially from U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power.

“Russia — isolated, alone, and wrong — blocked the resolution’s passage, just as it has blocked Ukrainian ships and international observers,” Power said.

Protesters on both sides of the issue took to the streets for their cause, not only in Crimea, but in Russia as well, Hsu reported.

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn Maloney led a rally on Governors Island in support of Ukraine’s freedom.

Dozens of Ukrainians sang their national anthem with the United Nations as a backdrop shortly after Russia vetoed a resolution that would have declared Sunday’s referendum on the future of Crimea illegal, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.

“You can see what kind of people we are. Peace-loving people, the kind of people who would give up their weapons, the kind of people who would not attack an army that has invaded our sovereign territory,” one demonstrators said.

Maloney joined the protesters in calling for the cancellation of the referendum in Crimea.

“Basically it is join Russia now or join Russia later. The ability to say no is not on the ballot…and the charade to begin in just a few hours,” Maloney said.

The White House said the referendum goes against Ukraine’s constitution, so the outcome of the vote won’t be valid.

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