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By Mike Collett-White and Aleksandar Vasovic SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Crimeans decide on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum that has infuriated Kiev and triggered the biggest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War. Thousands of Russian troops have taken control of the Black Sea peninsula, and Crimea's pro-Russian leaders have worked hard to ensure that the vote is tilted in Moscow's favor. That, along with an ethnic Russian majority, is expected to result in a comfortable "yes" vote to leave Ukraine, a move that could prompt U.S. and European sanctions as early as Monday against those seen as responsible for the takeover of Crimea. The majority of Crimea's 1.5 million electorate support leaving Ukraine and becoming a part of Russia, citing expectations of better pay and becoming part of a country capable of asserting itself on the world stage.