Kerry heads on crunch Ukraine talks with Russian FM

Serbian and Cossack armed men work with Pro-Russian forces as they stand guard at a checkpoint on the road from Simferopol to Sevastopol on March 13, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry headed Thursday for last-ditch talks with Russia seeking to defuse tensions over Ukraine and warning Moscow of a serious backlash over Crimea’s breakaway vote. Just hours before he left for London to meet again with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov ahead of Sunday’s vote, the top US diplomat cautioned Moscow to move to help end the crisis. The self-declared leaders of Crimea are poised to hold a referendum with the voters in the majority ethnic Russian southern peninsula expected to choose to split from Ukraine and join Russia. Ukraine and Washington have rejected the vote as illegitimate.

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