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Russian separatists disrupt presidential vote in Ukraine's eastern regions

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Russian separatists disrupt presidential vote in Ukraine's eastern regions


Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk region barred people from voting in the presidential election.

With several cities having declared themselves as independent “people’s republics” voting would have implied they were still part of Ukraine.

Only about 20 percent of polling stations were working across the eastern area which normally has 3.3 million voters.

In Kramatorsk not one was open.

“Why elect the president of a foreign country? asked one man. “The presidential election is not happening here, no one prepared for it.”

“To vote it’s necessary to go to another city. But to get there you need to go through a number of checkpoints manned by Ukrainian military and non-Ukrainian military,” said another local with his small son.

Some Ukrainians in the east who tried to vote complained about being denied their democratic right.

With the absence of more than 15 percent of the potential electorate from the ballot, it’s feared that Moscow will question the winner’s legitimacy.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin branded eastern Ukraine as “New Russia”, however he has since then said he will respect the will of the voters.

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