On Sunday, rebels in eastern Ukraine held their first ever elections, voting for the incumbent leader Alexander Zakharchenko to continue to run the territory under separatist control.

With few observers present to verify the fairness of the voting, which itself was hastily organized, the election wasn't widely recognized. Russia was the only major power to recognize the vote as legitimate, while Ukraine and its allies in the West declared the poll to be a violation of a negotiated agreement reached in Minsk.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky spoke with the rebel leader Zakharchenko as he cast his vote in Donetsk, and visited polling stations across the country's war-torn east to find out what elections look like in a breakaway republic.

Follow @simonostrovsky on Twitter here

Check out "Ukrainian President Threatens to Scrap Special Status for Eastern Regions After Rebel 'Elections'"

Check out "The Donetsk People's Republic"

Check out all of VICE News' coverage of the conflict in Ukraine here

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