Insurgents in eastern Ukraine declare independence

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Pro-Moscow insurgents in eastern Ukraine have declared independence and are seeking to join Russia following yesterday's referendums.

Organizers of yesterday's referendums say 89 percent of those who cast ballots in the Donetsk region and about 96 percent of those who turned out in Luhansk voted for sovereignty.

But Russia is signaling it has no intention of annexing eastern Ukraine the way it did Crimea in March. The Kremlin says it wants to see talks between Ukraine's interim government and those provinces.

Ukraine's acting president has called the votes a "farce," but the acting prime minister is pledging to hold a dialogue with all of the country's regions on the country's constitution. Arseniy Yatsenyuk (ahr-SEHN'-ee yaht-sehn-YOOK') says the agenda should include changes to the constitution that would give more powers to the regions.

The United States is refusing to recognize the results of the referendums. White House spokesman Jay Carney says it's "disappointing" that Russia did not use its influence to stop the vote from happening.


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