"As of the moment when the polling stations were closed, the turnout amounted to 80.1 percent," Pozdnyakova said on late Sunday.
A total of four candidates are running for the DPR leader's post, including the republic's acting leader Denis Pushilin. According to the Central Election Commission, Pushilin is winning the election with 57.3 percent of votes. The commission has counted 27 percent of ballots.
The Ukrainian authorities have already said that they would not recognize the results of Sunday's elections, while the Kremlin pointed out that the vote would not violate the Minsk agreements.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday discussed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel the issue of sending a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbass.
"President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel during the working visit to France … the parties discussed the issue of promoting Ukraine's proposals on the introduction of peacekeepers in the occupied territory of Donbass and the support for Ukraine's position by our partners in the Normandy format — Germany and France," Poroshenko’s office said in a statement.
Macron and Merkel said in a joint statement after a meeting with Poroshenko on the sidelines of World War I commemorations that "these so-called elections undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."
“Holding these so-called elections is undermining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine … The unlawful and illegal elections in some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that were held … despite many calls of the international community [to abstain from organizing the voting] are not in line with the spirit of the Minsk agreements and the statement of heads of state and government of the Normandy Four countries, which was adopted by them along with the Minsk agreements in February 2015,” the joint statement said.
Merkel and Macron pointed out that the elections in the territories, which are controlled by the Donbass militia, must be held in accordance with the Minsk agreements, standards of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Ukrainian legislation.