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Referendum will be held in Ukraine Kharkiv: Officials

19.05.2014 15:31

Pro-Russian local officials in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv have said that they will hold a referendum to break away from the Kiev government.  

On Sunday, a pro-Russia official, Yuri Apukhtin, said that the referendum will be similar to those which were recently held in Donetsk and Luhansk, adding that no date has been set for the vote yet.

He also said that people living in the city will not take part in Ukraine’s upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 25th of May.

Earlier in the day, fresh clashes broke out between Ukraine's National Guard forces and pro-Russian protesters in the city of Kramatorsk in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk.

There have been reports of clashes between government forces and activists in the neighboring city of Slavyansk.

Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov launched military operations in southeastern Ukraine in mid-April in a bid to root out pro-Russia demonstrations.

On May 12, Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence following local referendums in which the regions’ residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev.

The referendums followed a similar vote in Crimea in March that led to the reunification of the peninsula with the Russian Federation. Nearly 97 percent of participants in Crimea’s referendum voted for rejoining Russia.