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Ukrainians head to the polls in disputed referendum

John Moore / Getty Images

Voters in eastern Ukraine head to the polls Sunday to cast ballots in a contested sovereignty referendum that could peel away more territory and move it closer to Moscow. Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, who have engaged in deadly gun battles with Ukrainian security forces in recent weeks, insisted on holding the vote despite objections from international observers. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin last week called for the referendum to be postponed due to concerns about its legitimacy.

Early reports say there are long lines and chaotic scenes at some polling stations, with armed men in military fatigues spooking locals into voting. There have also been scattered reports of possible election fraud. ABC News snapped an image of a woman appearing to cast two ballots at once, while the BBC reported that a man not registered to vote at a polling place was allowed to do so anyway.

Regardless of the outcome, the U.S. has already said it will not honor the results.