- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2014

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said Monday that Crimeans’ voting Sunday to split off from Ukraine and join territorial Russia isn’t necessarily a win for Russian President Vladimir Putin because of the rest of Ukraine’s desire to align with the west and become part of the European Union.

“The resolve inside Ukraine to join the European Union, turn away from Russia, has hardened over the course of the last several weeks,” Mr. Murphy, who just returned from a trip to Ukraine, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He pointed out that the Crimean population is about 2 million out of a total of 45 million people in Ukraine.

“Ultimately, if the end result is that the other 43 million join the European Union, this is a huge loss for Putin, not a win,” he said. “The referendum was a sham. The Ukrainian media was shut down; journalists and activists were intimidated. But I think he is making this up as we go along. I worry, though, that he’s going to realize that he needs to move further than Crimea in order to get the end that he desires here.”