Ukraine Votes as Prez Warns of 'Step Into Abyss'

Referendum on self-rule goes forward
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2014 7:23 AM CDT
Ukraine Votes as Prez Warns of 'Step Into Abyss'
A polling station voluntary worker checks the passport of a voter at a polling station in the district of Budennovskiy, outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

The question on the referendum is simple: "Do you support the act of state self-rule of the Donetsk People's Republic/Luhansk People's Republic?" The act of answering, in today's poll in Ukraine's aforementioned two eastern provinces, is contentious, chaotic, and already being denounced as rigged and what acting President Oleksandr Turchnyov is calling "a step toward the abyss." BBC reporters on the ground in Donetsk and Luhansk describe long lines, haphazard processes, and less-than-reliable voter lists. The AP reports that while proceedings have been largely peaceful, irregularities persist such as one village in which polling was delayed by three hours after officials forgot to bring a ballot box. Complicating matters, international observers are absent. The poll goes forward despite Vladimir Putin's call to the contrary. (More Oleksandr Turchynov stories.)

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