Donetsk and Luhansk vote for secession from Ukraine

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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

Key Points

  • 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.

International Reaction

  • 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. 
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