Donetsk celebrates independence from Ukraine and looks towards Russia

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Fireworks filled the night skies in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk as some Russian speaking residents held parties following Sunday’s unofficial independence referendum.

As far as members of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are concerned they are now a sovereign state and their leaders are looking towards Russia.

Denis Pushilin, co-chair of the Donetsk People’s Republic addressed a crowd of celebrating separatists:

“Basing itself on the will of the people in the Donetsk People’s Republic and seeking the restoration of historic justice, we ask the Russian Federation to consider a merger of the Donetsk People’s Republic within the Russian Federation.”

The pro-Moscow organisers of Sunday’s referendum claim that 90 percent of voters in the key industrial region of Ukraine came out in favour of a split from Kyiv. Together with neighbouring Luhansk there is a proposal to hold a second ballot on joining Russia.

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