KIEV, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Residents of the insurgent-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine cast their ballots on Sunday in local elections amid harsh criticism from Kiev.
People in the conflict-hit Donetsk and Lugansk regions, together known as Donbas, are set to elect both "presidents" and members of "parliaments" of the self-proclaimed republics.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has voiced protest in the wake of the elections, saying that their results will be "null" and "void" and would have no legal consequences.
Ukraine will not recognize the elections, the ministry said, emphasizing that Kiev believes that elections in Donbas can be held only under the Ukrainian legislation and in full compliance with the standards of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the elections "fake" and said: "they will not have any legal force nor be recognized by the international community."
In April 2014, armed groups seized the cities and villages in eastern Ukraine and declared independence from Kiev. The Ukrainian army launched offensives against the insurgents.