The referendum in Crimea comes one day after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution urging countries not to recognise its results.
Russia was the only member to vote against the measure on Saturday. Thirteen other members voted for it while China abstained.
The referendum has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
The US and the Europeans are threatening Russia with sanctions if it annexes Crimea.
Crimea is a primarily ethnic-Russian majority region of Ukraine. Moscow says it has the right to protect its interests in Crimea.
Just why does Crimea matter? And how would the referendum results impact an already complicated situation?
Presenter: Jane Dutton
Guests: Srdja Trifkovic - Foreign Affairs Editor for Chronicles Magazine.
Mychailo Wynnyckyj - Associate professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
Vyacheslav Matuzov - Former Russian Diplomat.