Residents of two regions of eastern Ukraine turned out in large numbers on Sunday to give their mandate on self-rule in a referendum that threatens to deepen divisions in a country already heading perilously toward civil war.
The referendum asked the voters if they favored self-determination rather than outright independence or joining Russia. Meanwhile, this vote infuriated the Ukrainian government.
The Foreign Ministry called it a “criminal farce” arranged by a “gang of Russian terrorists,” reflecting the government’s view that Russian agents are behind the breakaway movement. Many residents who oppose the separatist movement boycotted the vote. CCTV’s Roza Kazan reports from Donetsk with details on the voting pattern.
Voters in Donetsk Cast Ballots in ReferendumCCTV's Roza Kazan reports from Donetsk with details on the voting pattern in eastern Ukraine.
Hours before voters headed to the polls, there were heavy clashes in Slavyansk. Anti-Kiev militia accused the Ukraine government of trying to derail the referendum. CCTV reporter Kate Parkinson has these details on violence in the region and voting in Slavyansk.