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Separatists hold self-rule referendums in east Ukraine

Posted on May 11 2014 | IANS

London, May 11 : 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, a media report said.

Millions of ballot papers were prepared with only one question -- "Do you support the act of state self-rule of the Donetsk People's Republic or Luhansk People's Republic?," BBC reported.

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

They have also vowed to boycott Ukraine's presidential election May 25.

Ukrainian interim President Alexandr Turchynov said Saturday that the referendum would lead to a complete destruction of the economy, social programmes and general life for the majority of the population.

But Russia still denies sparking off separatism in the region.

France and Germany Saturday said they will impose further sanctions on Russia if the May 25 Ukrainian election fails to take place.

The US and the European Union imposed fresh sanctions on Russia earlier this month.

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