Referendum vote for self-rule ends in eastern UkraineUpdated: 2014-05-12 20:03:39 (KST)
It was the outcome everyone expected, but it's one that will face resistance from many inside and outside of Ukraine.
The referendum vote on self-rule in two of the tensest regions in eastern Ukraine closed Sunday night, local time.
Seperatists claim that preliminary results show nearly 90 percent are in favor of self-governance in the region of Donetsk.
Voter turnout there was around 75 percent.
Early counts in Luhansk show over 80 percent in favor of self-rule.
"When I saw the interim government had taken such illegal actions toward us, I decided to vote for myself."
People in Kiev, however, are furious and are calling for national unity.
"This is not a referendum, but a lie. It's absolutely Russia's provocation. Russia just wants to copy the script of Crimea's independence and separate Donetsk and Luhansk from Ukraine."
At least one person was shot dead, west of Donetsk city, as armed men supporting the Kiev government tried to stop the vote.
The final results will be announced on Monday.
The legitimacy of the vote has been called into question, not only because it was held among a minority of the Ukrainian population, but also because people were seen voting more than once, while some areas didn't even have voting booths in place.
The U.S. and the European Union say they won't accept the outcome, condemning the vote as illegal.
The interim government in Kiev has called the ballot self-destructive and says the focus should be on the nationwide election set for May 25th.
Western leaders agreed that if that vote does not take place, there will be consequences, including stronger sanctions against Russia.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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