The above article outlines the fact that the civil society organization in Russia found that the Crimean referendum was falsified. Buried at the bottom of this article is the nugget that the referendum ballot only had two options on it: Join Russia or revert to a free Crimea via an outdated constitution. I had personally not heard this and found it very insightful into the illegal nature of the ballot. Clearly, remaining a part of Ukraine was not an option offered to the people of Crimea.
Numerous outlets continue to report that the Crimean people wanted to join Russia. However, this report calls that into serious question. It is clear that the referendum was not only illegal but extremely biased, and did not represent the people of Crimea with a true plethora of options.