The Ukrainian authorities called on the inhabitants of the separatist areas today not to vote on Sunday in the elections called by the self-proclaimed popular republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
"We address the citizens of Ukraine who are obliged to live under the occupation to refrain from participating in illegitimate elections and not fall into manipulations," the official statement said.
Kiev considers that such elections are the antithesis of the expression of the popular will, since those who reside in areas under pro-Russian control "experience pressures and are under information isolation".
The Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk held Sunday presidential elections, which in the case of the former were called after the assassination at the end of last August in a bombing of its leader, Alexander Zajárchenko.
The elections were already condemned in advance by the European Union and the United States in the UN Security Council, as well as by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
In this regard, the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, announced today that Brussels will not recognize the results of the elections, which the West considers to be against the Minsk Peace Accords.
On the other hand, the Kremlin maintains that these agreements do not allude in any case to that matter and argues that, after all, it is simply a question of local elections.
Recently, the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, predicted that the international sanctions against Russia will harden after the elections, since "the patience of the West is not unlimited".
In his opinion, the separatist elections are sponsored by Moscow and are "a clear example of the Kremlin's unwillingness to peacefully settle the situation" in eastern Ukraine.
Although the Ukrainian army reported today on the death of two of its soldiers in combats with the separatist militias in the last 24 hours, Kiev does not wait for provocations on the part of the pro-Russian forces.
Meanwhile, the separatist authorities announced that they will reinforce the security device during the vote and that they are ready for any subversive attack by the enemy.
The favorites for victory in the separatist elections are Denis Pushilin, chief negotiator of the Donetsk People's Republic until the murder of Zajárchenko, and Leonid Pasechnik, interim leader in Lugansk since Igor Plotnitski resigned a year ago.