DONETSK, Ukraine - Nearly 90 percent of voters in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk voted for self-rule, the head of the separatist election commission said on Sunday.

"Eighty nine percent, that's it," Roman Lyagin told Reuters by telephone when asked for the result.

Donetsk is the larger of two eastern Ukrainian regions where separatists held a referendum on self-rule on Sunday, declared illegal by the pro-Western government in Kiev and the European Union.

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