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Voters head to polls in Ukraine -- but not in pro-Russian east

Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 01:20

May 25 - Ukrainians are voting in the first national election since the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovich. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Voting is underway in Ukraine, where citizens are choosing a new president to lead the country after months of unrest. The election is billed as the most important since the country won independence from Moscow 23 years ago. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) KIEV RESIDENT ANATOLY FEDOSOV, SAYING: "We need freedom, to fight against corruption and gangsters have to go to jail. That's all we need." Early signs are pointing to a high turnout in an election where the main candidates are promising closer ties with the West in defiance of Russia. The same could not be said for voting in the country's east. In Slaviansk, where armed pro-Russian separatists remain in control, polling stations are closed. Residents say the election has no meaning. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT TATIANA, SAYING: "On our own territory, there are so many troubles. Who's organised these troubles, and for what? I can't understand anything. You talk about an election. There's no election for us at all - no kind of election matters to us, because the main thing for us is to survive." The lack of votes in the country's east could mar any result and leave Moscow questioning the victor's legitimacy.

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Voters head to polls in Ukraine -- but not in pro-Russian east

Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 01:20