May 6, 2014

Comparing Sunday’s referendum to an earlier vote that preceded Russia’s annexation of Crimea, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “This is the Crimea play-book all over again.”

“The United States notes with concern efforts by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk to organize a bogus independence referendum.”

Ukraine and its Western backers see Russia’s main aims as making sure the planned referendum goes ahead, while sabotaging a nationwide presidential election due to be held two weeks later.

The West considers the 25 May presidential elections as crucial to restoring legitimacy to the leaders of the former Soviet republic.

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