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You're reading: Gunmen seize control of district election offices in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, steal ballots and documents
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The gunmen seized 11 district
elections offices and are threatening to capture at least eight more, news website Ukrainska Pravda
and News
Channel 24
reported, citing election officials. In most cases, the gunmen confiscated
election documents, including ballots, from the offices.

The building seizures and
document thefts come just five days before presidential elections are to be held
across Ukraine. Voters will cast their ballots for a new head of state on May
25, three months after former President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country and
was deposed by parliament for being unable to carry out his duties. A warrant
was later issued for the arrest of Yanukovych, who has been hiding out in
Russia. He is accused of ordering the mass murder of more than 100 EuroMaidan activists
during mass demonstrations in January and February.

In one incident at 11:30 a.m. on May 20, around
10 masked gunmen raided the city administration building in Artemivsk, a typically
quiet city of some 80,000 people 86 kilometers north of Donetsk. They
forced election officials there at gunpoint to hand over ballots, voter
lists and other documents, an election official present told the Kyiv Post by phone minutes
afterward.

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