89 percent votes for independence in east Ukraine referendum

Posted By: IANS
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Kiev, May 12: At least 89 percent of the voters in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region cast ballots in favour of independence in Sunday's referendum, media reported Monday.

The turnout for the referendum was 74.87 percent, and some 10.1 percent voted against independence, Roman Lyagin, head of the electoral commission of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said.

"These can be considered as the final results," Xinhua quoted Lyagin as saying. Pro-Russian activists in Ukraine's eastern towns of Donetsk and Luhansk held self-rule referendums Sunday, a move deemed illegal by the Kiev government and the West.

Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's constant urging to postpone the referendum, the activists went ahead with it and also hinted that they intended to hold a second round later to join Russia.

The result from Luhansk has not been announced yet. Donetsk and Luhansk became centres of the eastern protests in mid-April, when activists waving Russian flags seized government buildings, declared separatist republics and announced plans to hold a referendum on seceding from Ukraine.


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