Most people in Ukraine’s capital view the referendum in the east as “illegitimate” and accuse Russia of destabilising the region.
Ukraine’s government has described it as a “criminal farce” and Western countries have also condemned it.
Spokesperson for the presidential office Serhiy Pashynksyi claimed that two-thirds of Donetsk and Luhansk were not even taking part in the vote
“It has nothing to do with proper legal procedure. Its not a referendum. Its a miserable attempt by terrorists, bandits, killers to use the name of the people of Donetsk and Luhansk as a cover for their actions”
It is feared however that the holding of the vote will deepen east west divisions within the country and with it push Ukraine ever closer towards civil war.
One woman said: “This referendum is illegal. If it was a nationwide referendum, than the people of Ukraine could really take some decisions. But its only a decision of a few. “
Our correspondent Angelina Karyakina, who is in Kyiv said:
“The Ukrainian government has said the vote in the East will have no legal consequences for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The main task for the government now is to establish a dialogue with the East of the country and look for the parties considered legitimate by both sides to start negotiations”