Many people living in Ukraine’s Donbass area fear for their safety during Sunday’s presidential election.
Militant separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) promise to do everything to disrupt the vote which, they say, is being organised by another country.
Vladimir Makovich, co-chairman of “DNR” said: “It is not authorised to hold an election of the president of another country in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
“There are villains in this country listening to orders coming from another country. They are betraying their people, and there’s only one way to deal with betrayers,” added Makovich.
As electoral officials set up polling stations a multi-faith service was held on the outskirts of Donetsk. People gathered to pray for peace.
One of the priests said: “It’s just evil. Death and violence…this is bad…we are going to pray, with the prayer of grief.”
Fighting back tears, he added, “God bless all of us.”
People are deeply divided.
Many are happy living in Ukraine and just want to vote in a Ukrainian election.
Others hope that a makeshift referendum two weeks ago will let them follow Crimea into union with Russia.