On Friday, Russia Today, the television network sponsored by the Kremlin and broadcast in the United States, changed the colors on its maps to reflect the notion that Crimea was actually a part of Russia. Note the colors in the background on this map above.
On Thursday, the Crimean parliament voted to join Russia and break away from Ukraine; the referendum on the issue is expected on March 16. The United States and Ukraine have already condemned the referendum as illegitimate.
Crimea was historically a part of Russia until 1954, when then USSR head Nikita Khruschev, a Ukrainian, handed Crimea over to Ukraine.