Voting in Eastern Ukraine reveals a few more of the divisions in society. The young vote differently to the old, some miss the certainties of the past, and others resent the changes they see as being forced upon them.
No doubts for volunteer fighters of the Azov batallion in Mariupol, however. Among Kyiv’s strongest supporters, they voted early.
“Most of us are manning check-points now. The first group came here and voted, then they’ll change the guard of the forward defense and the long-range defense of the city,” said one man in uniform.
Not everyone there supports the government in Kyiv, but with the outskirts being shelled, everyone wants an end to the violence.
“I want peace, that’s what is important. And I want to stay in Ukraine. We remember Trans-Dniestera and the poverty there. People in Donetsk and Luhansk are isolated and can’t get their salaries,” said one woman.
Some, it seems, have given up on the political process altogether.
“I won’t take part in voting, I don’t believe any politician!” grumbled one man.
You don’t need to walk far to find those for whom the fighting has been a terrible mistake, spurred on by nationalist hotheads.
“I don’t support the current authorities. They started this war and keep on saying that we need to continue it. I liked the previous authorities, at least we had our salaries, we could exist. We don’t support war. That’s why we need to vote for the party that is against war, for people who were in power under Yanukovych,” said one person.
Several places in east are seeing voting disrupted by people staying away, fearing artillery bombardment at polling stations or places where groups of people gather.
“Mariupol is a front-line city. However it remains a centre of relative safety in Donbass. Ukrainian laws work here. Despite job cuts, people are in employment. But only voting results will show whether the locals appreciate it or if they still are not ready to accept the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government,” says euronews’ Maria Korenyuk.
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