I'd disagree. Yes there were quite a few that preferred to remain in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the majority of the people identify Russians and they preferred Russian rule. For one, the older people immediately received higher pensions and workers will also now receive higher wages. There's tons of video evidence from non-Russian outlets that described the situation there, especially by Vice which did a series called 'Russian Roulette' that was well over 100 episodes. All in all, I'd say that more locals in Crimea were for Russian rule than against.
Also, the referendum was conducted with international observers present.
"It's all quiet so far," Mateus Piskorkski, the leader of the European observers' mission and Polish MP told Itar-Tass. "Our observers have not registered any violations of voting rules."
Another observer, Ewald Stadler, member of the European Parliament, dispelled the "referendum at gunpoint" myth, by saying he felt people were free to make their choice.
"I haven't seen anything even resembling pressure," he said. "People themselves want to have their say."
Many were impressed by the turnout, which appeared to be so high as to have people stand in lines to get to the ballot box in the morning. The turnout for the referendum in Crimea at 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT) was 70 per cent, the referendum's website said.
"The lines are very long, the turnout is big indeed," a member of the international observer mission, Bulgarian parliament member Pavel Chernev, said. "Organization and procedures are 100 percent in line with the European standards," he added.
135 international observers have arrived from 23 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and Poland, Crimean authorities said. Among those monitoring the referendum are members of the EU and national European parliaments, international law experts and human rights activists.