Pro-Russian activists of Donetsk on 7 April 2014 proclaimed their independence from Ukraine. The protesters asked Russia to send in troops to protect them from the Ukrainian Government. They occupied the regional government headquarters in Donetsk and set up a People’s Council of Donetsk.
The self-proclaimed Council decided to call a referendum on splitting from Ukraine and joining Russia before 11 May 2014. This demand for referendum is similar to the demand for referendum in Crimea. The referendum will decide the status of region.
The region has maximum Russian speakers and they are showing their support over the independence from Ukraine. In the event of referendum getting approved, the region may witness annexation similarly on the lines of Crimea.
The activists of Donetsk were coordinating their referendum plans with pro-Russia forces in Kharkiv and Lugansk. These three regions in the eastern Ukraine are the most developed industrial regions bordering Russia and have much more in common with neighbouring Russian provinces than with western Ukraine.
When: 7 April 2014