Six soldiers killed ahead of rebel vote
Six Ukrainian soldiers were killed by pro-Russian rebels, officials said yesterday on the eve of separatist elections that Ukraine and its Western backers say will undermine an increasingly hollow truce accord.
Losses in the last 24 hours "as a result of fighting were six servicemen killed and 10 wounded," Volodymyr Polyovy, spokesman for the National Security and Defence Council, said.
The bombardments formed a frightening backdrop to elections today in the self-declared, pro-Russian statelets known as the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic.
There were no signs of polling stations in Donetsk near the airport and rebel soldiers deployed there said they didn't know of any stations in the area. However, there was little doubt about the winners of the two polls, with separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko on course to become head of the Donetsk republic and Igor Plotnitsky in Lugansk.