While Sunday's referendum in Crimea has been denounced overseas as a farce, 24 hours earlier Russia and Crimea played each other in a rugby match in Simferopol. The final score - 59-59 - was considered by many to be as dubious as the poll.
Despite being played in Crimea, the Russians used the home changing rooms. As a largely professional side, drawn from the country's new pro league and 19th in the IRN world rankings, they should also have easily won against a side which in IRB terms does not exist as a national entity.
In the first half Crimea were poor and went into the break trailing 40-17 but a surprising second-half recovery saw them snatch a draw.
A small crowd seemed largely ignorant of the sport being played out in front of them - tries and kicks passed almost unnoticed - and contented themselves with pro-Russian referendum chants.
Russian officials declined to answer questions as to when the match had been arranged, but Ukraine's coach, Grigoriy Zakhlivny, claimed preparations started only a week ago and were initiated by the Russians.
The post-match comments were clearly political with a stream of rhetoric about sport overcoming divides. "We hope that our friendly relationship will always endure," chirped Russia's Sergei Mountian, bravely overcoming his bitter disappointment at his country's second-half collapse. "Russia and Crimea are united."