Luhansk separatists jubilant, ready to join Russia

On May 12 2014, the day after the staging of an unrecognised and farcical referendum in many cities of Luhansk Oblast, the Kremlin-backed organizers announced the region’s independence from Kyiv.

Despite having no international observers, voter lists or other standard niceties of a democratic vote, the organizers claimed that a whopping 96 per cent of voters in the oblast – where nearly five per cent of the nation’s 45 million people live – support splitting off from Ukraine.

The referendum’s backers were also unperturbed by polls showing most Luhansk residents want to live in Ukraine. Several of their leaders went ahead and announced their plans to petition Vladimir Putin to join Russia.

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.

(Pro-Russian insurgents stand by the seized Regional State Administration building in Luhansk on May 12. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova/The Kyiv Post)