Pro-Russian separatists have claimed a decisive victory in a self-rule vote they held in two eastern Ukrainian regions amid reports of at least one person being killed by Ukrainian security forces.
Pro-Russian separatist leaders said more than 70 percent of the electorate in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions -- home to 6.5 million of Ukraine's total population of 46 million -- voted in the referendum, RFE/RL reports.
Roman Lyahin, the self-styled chief of the election commission of the "Donetsk People's Republic," said 89 percent had voted in favor.
However, there was no way to verify that claim, as no independent observers were monitoring the vote.
No results from Luhansk were announced.
Earlier, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called the referendums a "criminal farce".
Ukrainian acting President Oleksandr Turchynov warned that the vote was a "step into the abyss." Turchynov said the government was willing to negotiate with representatives from the east, but not with anyone he called "terrorists whose task is the destruction of the country."
Ukraine and Turkey will jointly produce military equipment
German politicians came to occupied Crimea
Russia: Question of humanitarian pause in Syria is not relev
MFA calls Syrian AMB to account for statement on Crimea
Occupants are preparing "electrical noose" for Crimean
It became known, where Ukrainians go to work
Plane crashed in Malta
Iraq: Two journalists killed in a war zone
Crimea felt lack of qualified health professionals
Lviv hosts National Communities Forum
Darkness and queues on ferry await Crimea
Disabled ATO soldiers proved their strength
The 46 Film Festival Molodist opened in Kyiv
"My Ukraine" on canvas of artist
Largest entertainment park for children opened in Kyiv
Power outages began in Crimea
Defendant in "Hizb ut-Tahrir" case missed birth of daughter
Chubarov: Mogilev fled from Crimea, when we fought for it
IS Militants shot nearly 300 people in Mosul
Merkel predicts sanctions against RF for actions in Syria
ATO Headquarters: Militants used Grads in Luhansk direction
Egypt resold "Mistrals" to Russia for $ 1
Russia refused to release Kolchenko and Sentsov to Ukraine
Dzhemilev and TİKA opened the Crimean Tatar cultural center
RF Cabinet of Ministers ‘snips’ Black Sea