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Eastern Ukraine: separatist elections take place

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Eastern Ukraine: separatist elections take place


In eastern Ukraine, elections are being held in the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Pro-Russian separatists are voting to set up a breakaway regional leadership.

Kyiv, the European Union and the United States have denounced the vote as illegitimate, but Russia says it will recognise the results.

“Our voters live on the territory of the ‘Russian world’ [Russkiy Mir], explained Roman Lyagin,Chairman of the Central electoral commission of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).

“The Russian world is where we are, they live almost all over the planet, we let them vote on-line and we try to give as many voters as we can the chance to vote,” Lyagin continued,

The central election commission said more than three million voters will cast their ballots. Two million of those live inside the rebel-controlled area.

Euronews travelled to Petrovka a small suburb of Donetsk. We spoke with 77-year-old Anatoly, a pensioner and former miner.

He built a gym which was intended to be a Christian Orthodox corner for meditation as well as a museum of the Soviet Union.

But a rocket destroyed everything and Anatoly decided to reconstruct the gym using the money he had saved for his funeral expenses.

Poverty has his Petrovka hard. Many villagers just want an end to the conflict.

The area has been hit by high unemployment.

“Well, when this was Ukraine there were some jobs,” said Andrey. “There is no doubt about that. But now, as it happens, there are no jobs at all.”

Our euronews correspondent in Ukraine, Sergio Cantone, reported: “This is an electoral process being held under the emotional pressure of war. Therefore people want to vote hoping that a stronger power might help to undertake the reconstruction.”

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