Created: 05/11/2014 6:55 PM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine say preliminary results of a contentious referendum show nearly 90 percent of voters have supported sovereignty for their region.
Roman Lyagin, election chief of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic, said around 75 percent of the region's 3 million voters cast ballots Sunday.
With no independent observers monitoring the vote, however, verifying the figures will prove problematic.
The referendum took place amid sustained condemnation from the central government in Kiev and the Western community.
A rebel movement has emerged in eastern Ukraine over recent weeks in response to the ascent to power of the leadership that toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February after months of public protests.