LUGANSK, May 12, 1:30 /ITAR-TASS/. Lugansk Region's polling stations at referendum on self-determination of the region have closed. Vassily Nikitin, an official at the Lugansk press center for referendum matters, told Itar-Tass, "Voter turnout in the region was more than 80%". He said data on voting in Lugansk proper are being specified."
Nikitin also pointed out that problems during the polling "arose in areas where the army was interfering with the conduct of the referendum" in the populated areas of Svatovo, Melovoye, Byelokurakino, and Troitskoye.
A greater part of polling stations closed at 20:00, local time. However, in some towns polling was prolonged until 23:00.
The first results of the polling are expected to be made public later on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Kiev authorities maintain that the referenda in the eastern regions "will have no legal consequences for Ukraine's territorial integrity and the country's set-up", said a statement circulated by Ukraine's Foreign Ministry press service on Sunday. The authors of the document accused the organizers of the referenda "of violating Ukraine's Constitution and legislation". The Foreign Ministry expressed a supposition that "an overwhelming majority of the country's citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions" would not go to the polls.