Ukraine Prepares for Presidential Elections, Declares Day of Silence
Ukraine has began a Day of silence on May 24, a day before the early presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, according to international media reports.
On the same day, elections of mayors will be held in seven regional centers - Kiev, Nikolaev, Odessa, Sumy, Kherson, Cherkassy and Chernovtsy.
According to the law, any campaigning is prohibited on Saturday. In particular, on the night of Saturday, all campaign materials posted in public places should be removed, Voice of Russia informs.
According to surveys, the confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are among the main favorites in the forthcoming elections.
There are 33.7 million voters in the country. 3.3 million of them live in the Donetsk region and 1.77 million - in the Lugansk region, the Russian news agency reports.
Meanwhile, Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced he will respect the results of the presidential elections to be held Sunday in Ukraine.
"We wish that peace and calm come in Ukraine [and that] conditions are created for the country to move out of the crisis. I am speaking with no irony, so that in a country brotherly to us there is order. We will work with those who are now controlling power [and] after elections will work with newly-elected structures," Putin was quoted by Peterburgski Dnevnik, a local daily, as saying.
He asserted his country would support any choice made by the Ukrainian people.
Pro-Russian separatists occupying a number of buildings in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions at Ukraine's eastern borders have also vowed not to hold the vote in the cities which are currently under their control.
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