Voting’s underway in a presidential election in Ukraine where the country appears to be facing the choice of closer ties with Russia or a gradual integration with Europe.
The race is between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, who is backed by Russia and the outgoing president Leonid Kuchma, and opposition candidate Viktor Yushencko. He is a liberal and keen to increase ties with the West.Both sides have taken the gloves off in the campaigning – with claims and counter claims about their skills and previous records. The first ballot was narrowly won by Yuschenko but both candidates were around the 40 per cent mark. Results could take days if not weeks to be confirmed. With tension clear on the streets during campaigning, the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma has appealed for calm.