KIEV - Ukrainian acting president Oleksander Turchinov condemned Sunday's unofficial self-rule referendum in eastern regions as a farce inspired by Russia to destabilize Ukraine and topple the country's leaders in Kiev.
He said in a statement that the polls, in which pro-Russian rebels declared an overwhelming vote for a break with Kiev, had no legal consequence for the country.
"These processes are inspired by the leadership of the Russian Federation and are destructive to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' economies and threaten the lives and welfare of citizens and have the aim of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, disrupting (May 25) presidential elections and overthrowing Ukrainian authorities."
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