THERE were big demonstrations in Donetsk and other eastern Ukrainian cities yesterday in opposition to the presidential election that was called by the unelected coupist regime.
All five million ballots printed for use in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions for presidential elections have been stolen, revealed Zhanna Usenko-Chernaya, deputy head of Ukraine”s Central Electoral Commission.
Polling stations opened at 8am (06:00 GMT) and operated until 8pm. As of 3pm Kiev time (12:00 GMT), the overall turnout at the presidential election was said to have reached 38.53 per cent, reported Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission.
A day ago the above-mentioned regions declared the creation of the unified state of Novorossiya (New Russia) and ruled out participation in the presidential election.
Ukrainian presidential candidate and ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko of the Batkivschina (Fatherland) Party has called for a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO. According to Tymoshenko, such a referendum should be held simultaneously with the run-off of the presidential elections on June 15.
Tymoshenko – who was released from jail in February after the Ukrainian MPs amended the law and decriminalised the charge of abuse of power for which she was serving a seven-year jail term – has promised to immediately apply for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership if she wins the race.
Ballot papers for the entire Donetsk Region have been collected in the region’s third-largest city of Makeevka and burnt to ashes, one of the leaders of Donetsk People’s Republic told RIA Novosti.
The activist was a prisoner of the new authorities in Kiev, but was exchanged for a Ukrainian security service officer 10 days ago. The act took place on the territory of the regional Directorate for Combatting Organised Crime.
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics which recently held referenda on independence from Ukraine have declared the creation of Novorossiya (New Russia) union.
‘We have signed a memorandum on the union,’ Denis Pushilin, co-chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic, told the media. He added that the document was signed in the city of Donetsk by Donetsk People’s Republic Prime Minister Aleksandr Borodai and the head of Lugansk People’s Republic Aleksey Karyakin.
People’s representatives from eight Ukrainian regions gathered for a congress in Donetsk on Saturday, a day ahead of the scheduled countrywide presidential elections.
As a result of the congress, the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, where anti-government protests gained momentum, have announced the creation of a pro-federalisation Popular Front socio-political coalition. The movement accepted a manifesto vowing self-determination and protection of the people from ‘Nazi gangs’ terror’.
The coalition involves Odessa, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.
At the congress, all 145 delegates accepted the manifesto, which stresses that the Popular Front will consist of ‘everybody, who is ready to resist the self-appointed Kiev authority, which started war against the people’.