Armed fighting in eastern Ukraine ahead of election as Putin promises to ‘respect’ vote
By End the Lie
With the Ukrainian presidential election scheduled for Sunday, there is much concern over deadly clashes between a Ukrainian militia and pro-Russian separatists.
While security concerns surrounding the election remain, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will “respect” the outcome of the election, USA Today reports.
“We understand that the people of Ukraine want their country to emerge from this crisis. We will treat their choice with respect,” Putin said. “It would have been better to hold a referendum and adopt a new constitution. Under the current constitution (Viktor) Yanukovych is still in power.”
However, some Western analysts have said that Putin is giving mixed messages, CNN reports.
The recent clashes have been especially deadly. CNN reports that 32 people were killed and 44 injured in violent clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military in the Luhansk region, according to the Ukrainian anti-terror office.
The clashes lasted for a few hours on Thursday afternoon, according to anti-terror office spokesman Vladislav Seleznov.
The pro-Russian separatists accounted for 30 of the dead and two Ukrainian soldiers were killed, according to CNN.
The injured included 37 separatists and seven Ukrainian soldiers, according to Seleznov.
The interim government in Kyiv has promised to protect the safety of voters, but there are questions about the government’s ability to ensure that safety.
The pro-Russian separatists have promised to disrupt the elections, according to Voice of America.