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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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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.”

Taruta tried to temper fears that the separatists will obstruct the elections, saying that all Donetsk Oblast cities, except for Sloviansk, are equipped with everything necessary for the presidential election to be carried out. He said that electoral commissions were still operating, ballots are still able to be printed and voter registration lists have been created.

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