I just watched the UNSC's feed.
Ambassador Power was radiant as always! @AmbassadorPower
Russia isolated over Crimea after UN vote
Moscow only opponent to Security Council resolution condemning Crimean referendum, with China crucially abstaining.
Russia has been exposed as internationally isolated over the crisis in Crimea, with members of the UN Security Council overwhelmingly supporting a draft resolution condemning an upcoming referendum in the Ukraine region as illegal.
Russia vetoed the US-backed resolution when it was put to the council on Saturday, but its China abstained, leaving Russia as the only nation to recognise the Crimean referendum.
The veto means the resolution will not be adopted by the UN, but highlights Russia's isolation in the international community over Crimea
After the vote was taken, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, said: "Under the UN charter, the Russian Federation has the power to veto a security council resolution. But it does not have the power to veto the truth."
"History has lessons for all of us, who are willing to listen. Unfortunately, not everyone was willing to listen today."
Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, said the vote laid bare the international opposition to Russia's stance on Ukraine and Crimea.
"China is not supporting its ally Russia on this occasion. It is abstaining. That's the best the Western nations, who drafted this resolution, could hope for, but they think that this is important because it exposes that Russia is on its own."
Before the vote, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that Russia's action in Crimea arose because of an "unconstitutional coup" in Kiev.
Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea were making final preparations for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the region to Russia, despite denunciation by Ukraine and threats of Western sanctions.
Rival protests staged in Ukraine and Russia on Crimea referendum
On Saturday, Ukraine's acting president, Oleksander Turchinov, accused "Kremlin agents" of fomenting deadly violence in eastern cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv, ahead of the vote on Sunday.
Ukraine's parliament meanwhile voted overwhelmingly to dissolve Crimea's assembly, while demonstrators staged large protests in Ukraine and in the Russian capital Moscow, for and against the referendum.
Three people died in two incidents on Friday, including two in a reported shootout in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
On the eve of a breakaway vote, Turchinov told politicians: "You know as well as we do who is organising mass protests in eastern Ukraine - it is Kremlin agents who are organising and funding them, who are causing people to be murdered."
Security has been stepped up in Donetsk, where thousands of pro-Russian supporters are rallying on Saturday.
And in Moscow, about 50,000 people have rallied to protest against Russia's intervention in Ukraine, shouting, "The occupation of Crimea is Russia's disgrace" and "Hands off Ukraine".
A rival demonstration within sight of the Kremlin attracted an estimated 15,000 people in support of Putin.
The peninsula of two million mostly Russian speakers is widely expected to vote to split from Ukraine and join Russia after its politicians declared independence from Kiev earlier this month.
The referendum comes in direct response to three months of protests that on February 22 toppled the pro-Kremlin president, Viktor Yanukovich, and brought to power a new nationalist European-leaning team in Kiev.
Kiev has denounced the Crimean vote as illegal but is also warily watching as similar separatist sentiments are being fanned by Moscow supporters in other regions in eastern Ukraine, which has deep cultural and trade ties to Russia.