2014-10-24 18:07:00

Ukraine: Russia threatens to disrupt elections

(Vatican Radio) Ukraine says Russia plans to disrupt its parliamentary elections on Sunday, amid mounting tensions over the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's war-torn east. 

Listen to Stefan Bos' report: 

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk  ordered the mobilization of security forces ahead of the poll, saying it was "absolutely clear that there are still provocations from the Russian side and that this will continue in the future.” 

However he added they had no success in provoking Ukraine during the presidential poll in May.

Amid the turmoil, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said some 61,000 police officers – including 4,000 members of Ukrainian special forces - would be on guard at polling stations across the country.

The announcement came after Western reporters said they saw Russian tanks among destroyed military vehicles near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk. 


Kiev and the NATO military alliance have accused Moscow of sending troops and equipment to support pro-Russian separatists fighting against government forces around Donetsk and other areas of eastern Ukraine. 

Moscow has denied wrongdoing, ahead of what will be the first elections since the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych

"And Russia hopes Sunday's ballot will be held according to all “democratic principles and norms,” added Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. 

He said Russia also hopes that the "new parliament of Ukraine will provide the necessary conditions for the renewal of our cooperation through the parliamentary structures." 

Yet Moscow is likely forced to deal with the “party of peace” bloc supporting Ukraine’s pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko: His party is leading in pre-election polls, creating tensions in eastern Ukraine.


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