Donetsk and Luhansk vote for secession from Ukraine
Two of the regions of Eastern Ukraine namely Donetsk and Luhansk have overwhelmingly voted in favour of secession from the mother country in a referendum organized by pro-Russian separatist. The referendum, held without any impartial international agency, is being seen by the west as a prelude to further Russian expansion into the beleagured Ukraine. Its notable that Russia recently annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula just days after voters there approved of secession in a March referendum
- 89 percent of the almost 3 million eligible voters of the Donetsk region polled in favour of self rule.
- The industrial Luhansk region went a step ahead by registering 96% of voters favouring independence.
- Luhansk region has a population of about 3.5 million.
- A second round of voting is planned in a week's time, asking voters to choose between joining Russia or remaining independent.
- With no legal ground and lack of any international election monitors in place, the move has elicited wide condemnation from worldover.
- The west has whole-heartedly accused Russia of violating international law by fanning unrest in another attempt to grab more pieces of the country's territory.
The Bumpy Road Ahead
- Ukraine is going to hold presidential election on 25 May amidst the vehement boycott in these eastern regions by the separatist.
- The plebiscites can quicken further dismemberment of the country and worsen what is already the gravest crisis between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War.
- West has ruled out any military action and so far has retaliated only with sanctions, and is most likely to continue with that.
- Russia currently is estimated to have some 40,000 troops near the border possibly in order to arm twist Ukraine into further submission.