Breakaway regions in Ukraine set to vote
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.