Donetsk, Luhansk Hold Controversial Self-Rule Referendums
Pro-Russian separatists in two eastern regions in Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk, are holding "self-rule" referendums.
The "People's Republic" of Donetsk was proclaimed on April 7 and the "People's Republic" of Luhansk was proclaimed on April 27 by heavily armed pro-Russian activists.
In Donetsk, more than 3 million ballots have been prepared for the vote, according to the Central Electoral Commission of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio.
Voters in Donetsk are to cast their ballots at 1540 polling stations.
In Luhansk, some 1.7 million ballots have been prepared for the vote and the polling stations are more than 1600.
The ballots in both referendums contain only one question in both Ukrainian and Russian: "Do you support the act of state self-rule of the Donetsk People's Republic/Luhansk People's Republic?"
The results of the referendums on declaring independence from Kiev are to be announced on Monday, according to the BBC News.
The organizers of the referendums rejected the calls of Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the referendums on secession from Ukraine.
They also vowed to boycott Ukraine's presidential elections on 25 May.
The interim government in Kiyv, as well as the EU and the US, have condemned the referendums as illegitimate.
Ukaine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has argued that the referendums on declaring independence from Kiev pave the way for the destruction of the east.
- » Russia Forced to Pay USD 50 B to Former Yukos Owners
- » Romania, US to Launch Observation Flights over Russia, Belarus
- » Greek Civil Servants to Stage Strike in Athens
- » Hamas Agrees to New 24-Hour Ceasefire in Gaza
- » Israel Resumes Gaza Offensive after Hamas Rocket Attacks
- » Russia's Foreign Ministry Slams New EU Sanctions