Ukraine's Central Election Commission says that, with three days remaining until the May 25 presidential election, pro-Russian separatists were blocking the work of election officials in nearly half of the constituencies in two eastern regions, RFE/RL reports.
The Commission said on May 22 that separatists were preventing election officials from preparing for the vote in 16 out of the 34 electoral districts in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where the separatists have declared their own independent republics.
It said that separatists have overrun the district election commissions in eight constituencies in the Donetsk region, and another eight in Luhansk.
Separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk have said they will not allow the presidential election to take place in their regions.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he doubts about the legitimacy of Ukraine’s presidential election but said Russia is moving its troops away from the border to help create favorable conditions for Sunday's vote.