Today, May 11 people of Donetsk and Luhansk regions came out to vote for or against independence from Ukraine.
What motivated people to go ahead with referendum on independence: legitimate president has been ousted by violent mob, police officers have been killed in Kiev by Ukrainian radical nationalists, many civilians have been burnt alive in the city of Odessa by neo-Nazi groups, government in Kiev introduced a law forbidding Russian language while most citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk only speak Russian, Kiev has formed “National Guard” units made up mostly of radical elements that participated in killings of civilians, later National Guard units were sent to towns of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Andreevka and others to participate in cleansing operations where many locals whose view differs from Kiev were killed or injured, some were jailed, and some are still missing. As of yesterday National Guard units installed heavy artillery near those towns, some National Guard members have been herd saying that they “want to level those towns along with everyone in them.”
As a result locals first took up arms to defend their towns. Later they held a vote to elect new leaders. Leaders later held public vote on whether to hold referendum on independence of the region from Ukraine to protect themselves from the chaos that their country has fallen into.
While Kiev has sent its troops to south eastern region of the Ukraine, they have blamed Russia for helping locals protect themselves. President Putin has dismissed these claims as unfounded, there isn’t single proof for Kiev’s claim. Russia takes neutral stand on the issue while sympathizes with Russian speaking locals.
Results of the referendum should be announced on May 13.
As of 4pm local time Luhansk has announced that 78% of the city have voted.
Donetsk region turnout is recorded at just under 70%.
Voting booths are open 8am to 8pm:
Ukrainian interim government has tried to intervene in people’s vote by sending in its newly formed militia to the south eastern cities; however, local have stood their ground and people were able to vote: