Ukrainians turned out in droves Sunday to choose a new president, in the first elections since a pro-Western revolution in February that ousted the Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych.
While pro-Russian rebels blocked most voting in the southeastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk – and no election was held in the Crimean Peninsula, which Ukraine still claims despite its annexation by Moscow in March – lineups were long at polling stations in and around the capital city, Kiev.
A slight majority among the two dozen voters interviewed Sunday by The Globe and Mail said they had either voted for (or were about to vote for) front-runner Petro Poroshenko.
The 48-year-old tycoon, who made the bulk of his estimated $1-billion fortune via his Roshen chocolates and candy empire, was well ahead in all opinion polls, with the only question being whether he would win enough votes Sunday to pass the 50-per-cent-mark and avoid a runoff election in three weeks' time against whoever comes second on the ballot.
Here is a selection of the voters The Globe and Mail met at polling stations today. Photographs by Marta Iwanek.
Pavel Krutenko, 49-year-old manager of a medical services company
Inna Tkach, 48-year-old bank employee
Roman Sviderskiy, 33-year-old policeman turned folk performer
Andrii Kachmar, 32-year-old construction worker who now works as armed security at ongoing protest camp on the Maidan – Kiev’s Independence Square
Svetlana Lyashenko, 67-year-old teacher
Boris Primok, 67-year-old musician
Oksana Grinyevich, a 32-year-old economist
Tamara Yevtushenko, 65-year-old biologist
Natasha Bogachkova, 27-year-old ceramic artist
Vadim Shemchuk, 33-year-old major in Ukrainian army
Vlada Gutsaliuk, 25-year-old personal assistant
Dima Dzhashi, 27-year-old search engine optimizer
Alina Rusina, 24-year-old postgraduate math student at the Taras Shevcheko National University
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