MARIUPOL, Ukraine – Thousands flocked to polls in eastern Ukraine on Sunday to vote in a referendum on ‘self-rule.’
Pro-Russian forces in the region say they are confident the people have chosen to break away from Ukraine but Washington and other western governments have said they will not recognize the results of a vote considered “illegal” in Kiev.
The government in Ukraine calls the referendum illegal and illegitimate but voters still came out to break away from Ukraine and become an independent republic that would be closely aligned to Moscow.
Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We flatly reject this illegal effort to further divide Ukraine.”
There were no observers from any country and no official ballot papers.
Instead, there were forms that said, ‘Do you want to join this independent republic, yes or no?’
The divisions between the government in Kiev and the Russian communities have only gotten worse over the last several weeks.
The government has even begun launching military operations in that part of the country to try and regain control.