Ukraine is set to hold its presidential election on Sunday; Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not interfere. Russia will “respect the choice of the Ukrainian people,” he said.
During the same speech at a forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said urged the Ukrainian government to cease fighting with pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine reports USA Today.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian separatists killed 16 soldiers at a military checkpoint, the most severe act of violence in the area so far.
Acting president Oleksandr Turchynov has encouraged all citizens to vote. He said, “Today we are building a new European country the foundation of which was laid by millions of Ukrainians who proved that they are capable of defending their own choice and their country. We will never allow anyone to rob us of our freedom and independence, turn our Ukraine into a part of the post-Soviet empire.”
Publication date: May 23, 2014