Pro-Russians Say Eastern Ukrainians Want Independence

Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine say the majority of people there want to become independent.

Preliminary voting results are in and they say almost 90% of people in Donetsk want to secede from Ukraine.

Donetsk was just one two key regions that held a controversial referendum Sunday.

But the US, the EU and Ukraine’s government say the vote has no legal basis.

They are taking a first step toward sanctioning companies and people linked to Crimea’s annexation.

“They don’t meet any standard, not a single standard of objectivity, transparency, fairness of being properly conducted as a public referendum or election, and the people organizing them didn’t really even pretend to meet any of these standards,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

While the voting was mostly peaceful, members of the Ukrainian National Guard opened fire on a crowd in one town. The polling place was shut down.