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Vacheslav Ponomarev, the self-proclaimed mayor of Slovyansk, centre, speaks during a press conference with Lidia Bartasevic, president of Slovyansk’s election commission in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, May 12, 2014. Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine’s Donetsk region declared independence Monday and asked to join Russia, a day after holding a hastily arranged referendum vote on separatism that Ukraine’s interim government and the West have declared a sham. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)