By Ceyhun Alizade and Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) - Pro-Russian officials in three breakaway regions of Ukraine claimed victory in referendums to join Russia.
Some 98.42% of voters in Ukraine's separatist-controlled Luhansk region voted in favor of joining Russia, said the head of the election commission of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).
Leonid Pasechnik, the head of self-proclaimed LPR, will turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask him to consider folding the region into Russia.
Meanwhile, 87.05% of voters in Ukraine's Kherson region voted in favor of joining Russia, according to preliminary results announced by the region's so-called election committee.
Some 93.11% of voters in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region supported joining Russia, Russian state media reported citing preliminary results.
With 56.85% of votes counted in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, 94.75% of residents opted for Russian annexation, the head of the region’s election commission said.
The referendums have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US terming them "sham" referendums and saying they will not be recognized.