Election commissions in Donetsk and Lugansk are still counting the ballots, but preliminary results show the majority of eastern Ukrainians supported self-rule, despite intensified military operation by Kiev which resulted in several deaths.
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After the last polling stating closed in Lugansk and Donetsk regions at 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT), election commissions began counting the votes.
According to preliminary results – based on phone call reports from local commissions – in Donetsk region 89.7% of votes were cast in favour of political independence from Kiev. In Lugansk region preliminary results have not yet been announced, but the leader of the local “people’s front” said only around 5% voted against the “Act of state self-rule of the Lugansk People's Republic.”Despite fears that amid Kiev’s intensified military crackdown – which killed at least two civilians on referendum day – the turnout will be low, in both of the region it was unexpectedly high. In Donetsk it reached 74.87%, while in Lugansk the central election commission says 81% of eligible voters came to the polling stations.
With such a huge turnout, the referendums have been recognized as valid by both election commissions.
Kiev however, calling the regional voting on self-determination illegal, sent its recently formed paramilitary forces in an apparent move to disrupt referendums.
As armored military vehicles blocked passage to polling stations, voting in four towns across Lugansk region was disrupted. In the Donetsk town of Krasnoarmeysk, the National Guard shot at a crowd and killed two civilians who were protesting their attempt to seize a polling station.
The final results are expected be announced during region wide rallies on Monday.
In what is becoming a weekly ritual, the German press continues to demolish the US case of "idealistic humaniatrian" Ukraine intervention. Recall, that it was a week ago that German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, hardly the most reputable source but certainly one which reaches the broadest audience, reported that dozens of CIA and FBI agents were "advising the Ukraine government." This conclusion is hardly a stretch and certainly based on facts considering the recent semi-secret jaunt by CIA head Brennan to Kiev. Fast forward one week when overnight the same Bild reported that about 400 elite mercenary commandos of the private US security firm, Academi, f/k/a Xe Services, f/k/a Blackwater "are involved in a punitive operation mounted by Ukraine's new government" against east Ukraine separatists.
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Speaking to AFP, security sources said they feared fighting between rebels and Syrian army forces would affect the area.
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The IAF airstrike targeted artillery batteries and a Syrian army camp which had aided in the detonation of an explosive charge on the Israeli-Syrian border, which injured three IDF soldiers.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at the time warned Assad that he would "regret his actions" in threatening Israeli security, by allowing terrorists a free hand
The stirring posters bear a picture of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, 60, the man behind the last revolution in Egypt — in June 2013. He’s in civilian dress instead of his military uniform, wearing the sunglasses that have become his trademark.
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