People celebrate as they hold Russian flags in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 17, 2014. Crimea declared independence on March 17 and applied to join Russia while the Kremlin braced for sanctions after the flashpoint peninsula voted to leave Ukraine in a ballot that will likely fan the worst East-West tensions since the Cold War. Official results from Sunday's poll showed 96.77 percent of the voters in the mostly Russian-speaking region opted to switch to Kremlin rule, in the most radical redrawing of the map of Europe since Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia. AFP PHOTO/ VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)