Two regions of Ukraine voted for separation from Kiev
May 11, 2014, 23:12
Text: Denis Telmanov
Despite numerous provocations and incidents, the referendum on self-determination Lugansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine took place. The turnout – and this is the main surprise of the elections was a record, the queues at polling stations stretched sometimes for miles. The results, judging by the first data was predictable.
Immediately after the closure of polling stations the “people’s mayor” of Slavyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev declared that the Donetsk people’s Republic will establish relations with Russia and to join the Customs Union. “Russia is our brother, with Russia full interaction, including entry into the Customs Union,” – said Ponomarev, RIA “Novosti”.
The referendum ended late in the evening. The land in mining towns of the Luhansk region Alchevsk and Popasnaya continued to work up to 23 hours, the miners managed to vote after the change. According to 23 hours, the turnout in the Luhansk region amounted to more than 79%, highest 95% turnout achieved in the cities of Krasnodon, Krasny Luch and milestone. The referendum organizers printed about 1.7 million ballots.
In the Donetsk region at the time the polls closed that the turnout exceeded 74,87%, and in some areas, and 80%, in particular, in the Kalinin district of Donetsk came to the voting stations 83,96% of the voters. Here printed more than 3 million ballots for 1.5 thousand polling stations.
In the Donetsk region, voters were asked to answer the question: “do you Support the Act of independence of Donetsk national Republic?”. In the bulletins of the Luhansk region addressed the question: “do you Support the act of state independence of the Lugansk national Republic?”. Both issues were printed in Ukrainian and Russian languages, at the bottom of the Bulletin cited two possible answers – “Yes” and “no”.
According to the coordinator of the Central election Commission of the Donetsk national Republic Boris Litvinov, the lowest turnout was in Mariupol – 27,38%. There continues punitive operation, during which the military fired at unarmed people. Eve found hanged the chief of the local police Department. In addition, during the day it was reported explosions and fires in the building of the city Council, military units and the prosecution and detention of the odious MP Oleg Lyashko, which, however, was not confirmed.
Fighting in Slovyansk turnout exceeded 70%. In Krasnoarmeysk the so-called national guard of Ukraine tried to seize a polling station, however, the representatives of the electoral Commission managed to evacuate the ballot papers and other documents – petitions, lists of voters and printing. One of the militants was killed, another wounded.
In the village Borodinovka kremenskoy district, Luhansk region wounded two militias, armored vehicles blocked the national guard the way to the polling station, said the press-Secretary of the Army Southeast Vasily Nikitin.
In Donetsk, Proletarsky district of traumatic weapons man fired several shots into the ceiling.
The final results will be made public, according to Litvinov, in the course of two days. It is noteworthy that the polling stations were worked on Sunday, not only in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but also in Russian cities, including St. Petersburg and Sochi. In Moscow, the polling station opened right on the street between metro stations “Kievskaya” and “youth”, the turn came to vote Ukrainians lined up on the kilometer. However, the results of the vote in a final ballot will not be included and will not be considered. As explained by the head of the CEC DND Roman Lygin, “otherwise the referendum will lose legitimacy”.
The international reaction was quite predictable. The white house has announced that it will not recognize results of referendum in any case. “As the U.S. has said, the referenda, scheduled for 11 may in some regions in the East of Ukraine, are illegal from the point of view of Ukrainian legislation. If these referendums will take place, it would be a violation of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The U.S. does not recognize their results,” said a spokesman for the state Department Jennifer Psaki.
French President Francois Hollande also said that the results of the referendum on the status of the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine will be invalid, and the only election that admits France will be presidential elections in Ukraine on may 25. A similar statement was noted and London.
Russia’s reaction is not yet too obvious. Earlier, the Federation Council of Russia refused to send observers to polling stations in the South-East, saying that President Vladimir Putin has recommended the transfer of this event to a later date, but the leadership DND decided not to change anything.
The President of the Ukrainian Center of system analysis and forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko noted that, judging by the turnout, the referendum in the South-East can be considered valid. “In any case, not only under Ukrainian law, a referendum already took place, and it is clear that to challenge the results of Kiev will be difficult. At the same time, it is clear that these results are the official Kiev will not be accepted,” – said Ishchenko in an interview with RIA “Novosti”.
He added that the high turnout demonstrates the strong support the people of South-Eastern regions of the idea of a referendum.
Member of the presidential Council on human rights (HRC) Maxim Shevchenko, who observed the voting in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, explained that the residents of the Southeast want to achieve in the power of their representatives, and not imposed “top-down” managers.
“Everybody wants to change the situation in Ukraine. The people said we don’t want to vote for politicians who deceive us, we want people’s government, we want to take control of budgets in the cities and in the regions, we want a very different relationship with the Kiev than the ones that were up to this point, I want in power were our representatives, and not those who impose on us,” said a member of the HRC RIA “Novosti”.