Russia and the Middle East
Sat, 10 april 2021Sat
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Ukraine crisis: Separatists hold controversial polls

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are holding elections denounced by the West as "illegitimate".
Presidential and parliamentary polls are being held in the two self-proclaimed people's republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine, the US and EU say they will not recognise the elections but Russia has given its support to the polls.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions fell to separatists after months of fighting in eastern Ukraine that ended with the Minsk ceasefire deal in September. Rebel leaders say that as independent states they are not required to observe Ukrainian law and therefore did not participate in Ukraine's national elections last week. They say three million ballots have been printed for the polls, which will provide for directly elected presidents and parliaments.