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You're reading: Taruta says separatists’ republic ‘does not exist,’ vows to hold presidential elections in Donetsk Oblast
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“The Donetsk People’s Republic
does not exist,” he told reporters at Donetsk’s Donbass Palace hotel. “It
exists in name only. They have no economic and social programs, no law
enforcement.”

Separatists announced the results of the referendum, which they called-for, organized and carried out, on May 12. Roman Liahin, the self-appointed head of the Donetsk People’s Republic elections commission, revealed at a press conference that more than 70 percent of the region’s population turned out to vote on May 11, 90 percent of which cast ballots in favor of the bogus republic separating from Ukraine, according to their calculations.

Kyiv, meanwhile, said that no more than 30 percent of the Donetsk population voted in the separatists’ referendum, and interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov called it a “farce.”

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