(QHA) -

Around 75,000 troops will be deployed around Ukraine to ensure security in Sunday's presidential elections.

It is still unclear how many polling stations will be opened in the eastern part of the country, where pro-Russian militia still keep tight control.

"The Interior Ministry is taking targeted steps to ensure safety of civilians and members of election commissions. Around 55,700 police forces and 20,000 volunteers would be mobilized to guarantee security during the voting across Ukraine", an Interior Ministry official said.

Eighteen candidates are running in the presidential elections, with confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko among the main favorites.

The candidates to hold their final campaign rallies on May 23. 

Poroshenko is pledging to resolve the unrest in the east within three months if elected.

Those promises come after Ukraine’s Health Ministry said 16 soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Donetsk town of Volnovakha on the morning of May 22.