Break­away re­gions in Ukraine set to vote

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Worldwide -

The two self-de­clared break­away “republics” of eastern Ukraine are to­day set to hold elec­tions — in de­fi­ance of the United Na­tions, but openly en­cour­aged by Moscow.

The vote, which crit­ics say con­tra­venes peace agree­ments signed in Minsk early 2015, has been post­poned sev­eral times.

Af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion of erst­while leader of the Donetsk sep­a­ratist forces, Moscow says the re­gion needs an elec­tion to fill a power gap — and not only in Donetsk but in neigh­bour­ing Luhansk too.

In Donetsk, the ex­pected win­ner is Denis Pushilin, the for­mer head of the rev­o­lu­tion­ary par­lia­ment the “Peo­ple’s Coun­cil” and also pre­vi­ously distin­guished for his pre­war work as an of­fi­cer of a fraud­u­lent Ponzi scheme.

In Luhansk, the win­ner is ex­pected to be Leonid Pasech­nik, who has headed up the Luhansk sep­a­ratists’ se­cu­rity forces since 2014, dur­ing some of its most bloody months.

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