Ukrainian leader Oleksander Turchinov accused Russia of working to overthrow legitimate state power in Ukraine on Monday, after pro-Russian rebels declared a resounding victory in a rebel referendum on self-rule in eastern regions.
Russia said it respected the outcome of the referendum, in which separatists in the industrial Donetsk region claimed 90 percent support, and that the results should be implemented peacefully. It did not say what further action it might take.
Hours after the vote, dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal, rebel leaders’ plans remained unclear. Some have publicly supported pressing for annexation by Russia, which absorbed Crimea after a similar vote in March.
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