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The process, however, does not go smoothly everywhere. Ukrainian forces have carried out attacks to create obstacles and intimidate people.
At 8:00 am local time on Friday, citizens of the Donetsk People's Republic began to turn out to vote in the referendum on their territory's accession to Russia, Vladimir Vysotsky, the chairman of the electoral commission, reported.
The Lugansk People's Republic and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions also began voting on the annexation referendum. The process, however, does not go smoothly everywhere.
Elena Kravchenko, president of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Lugansk, pointed out that all 461 electoral precincts have already received ballots and the necessary technological equipment to carry out the referendum. For security reasons, however, the main electoral authorities are working outside the polling station facilities.
Ukrainian forces are creating obstacles for people to participate in the referendum taking place in Luhansk. "They are shelling cities. Svatovo and Alchevsk were attacked," said a member of the Lugansk armed forces, as reported by Sputnik.
How long have we been waiting for this. The head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin voted in a referendum on the region's joining Russia. pic.twitter.com/JZK4HVPinv
On Friday morning, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the administration of the Zaporozhye region, reported an explosion in downtown Melitopol. The causes of the event are still being investigated.
Previously, on Thursday, the Ukrainian armed forces attacked the covered market in the center of Donetsk leaving six people dead.
On Sept. 19, the Donetsk and Lugansk Chambers proposed to the leaders of their republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, the holding of referendums on joining Russia. The next day, RPD and RPL officials announced that referendums would be held from Sept. 23 to 27.