- foreign affairs May 12
On Monday, officials in the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk claimed an overwhelming victory in a controversial vote for "self-rule." Boris Litvinov, head of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk Central Election Committee, said that 90 percent of Donetsk voters approved independence. The second region holding an independence vote, Luhansk, is expected to report preliminary results later today.
The voting was reportedly rife with irregularities, and opponents of the plebiscites apparently stayed home. A Pew poll released last week found that 70 percent of eastern Ukrainians want to stay united with the rest of the country.
U.S. and Western European nations said the referendum is illegal and they won't recognize the results. Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov was more pointed, saying Monday that "this propagandist farce will not have any legal consequences, only criminal responsibility of its organizers." The Kremlin stopped just short of rolling out the welcome mat: "Moscow respects the will of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and hopes that the practical implementation of the outcome of the referendums will proceed along civilized lines, without repeat outbreaks of violence."
A Ukrainian national guardsmen shot and killed at least one man in Krasnoarmiysk and fired into a crowd in the Luhansk region, wounding two.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The constant struggle of running a family farm in 21st century America
Subscribe to the Week