In a move aimed at de-escalating tensions in the country, Ukraine’s parliament has adopted a so-called Memorandum of Peace and Accord.
It enshrines the rights of national languages in areas densely populated by ethnic minorities – such as Russians – while establishing Ukrainian as the state language.
The document also backs the May 25 presidential election – a day which Lesya Pankiv is looking forward to as she tends her husband’s grave.
Mykola was killed by sniper fire three months ago during protests to oust President Yanukovych.
“I hope that the elections will go through, so that first and foremost they give us a chance to select the right person. But if you ask me it doesn’t matter who is president, it all depends on whether our people will allow themselves to be fooled, to be swindled in the same way as before,” said Lesya as she sat next to a photograph of her late husband.
Although Kyiv’s pro-Western interim government hopes the election will restore political stability, the vote faces disruption in eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists continue to control several cities as they call for independence.