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Russia’s Lavrov Slams Kiev for Using Violence to Foil Referendums
Monday, 12 May 2014 12:11
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Russia’s Lavrov Slams Kiev for Using Violence to Foil Referendums

MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the regime in Kiev of unleashing troops and far-right radicals against Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions to foil self-rule referendums on Sunday.

“We noticed a massive voter turnout despite the attempts to foil the vote, including attempts to achieve this [goal] using ultra-radical fighters, and using the army and the heavy armament against civilians,” he said.

Lavrov stressed that the use of force had led to casualties in the country.

On Sunday, residents in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions went to the polls in a self-rule referendum, with ballots in Ukrainian and Russian asking whether they supported the acts of state self-determination of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

Serhiy Pashynsky, the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said Sunday the “anti-terror operation” in Donetsk’s flashpoint cities of Kramatorsk, Slaviansk and Krasny Liman had entered a “final phase.” He said Ukrainian troops had “wiped out a lot of separatists," without specifying any figures.

The number of civilian casualties in Ukraine has been climbing steadily since the beginning of the month as the Kiev regime, backed by the West, continues to tighten its grip on federalist strongholds in southeastern regions of Ukraine.

In the city of Krasnoarmiisk, northeast of Donetsk, the voting was disrupted by troops of the Ukrainian National Guard who encircled a polling center at city hall, shooting at least one person dead outside the building.

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