There were more law enforcement officers than election officials when the district election commission in Svatovo of Luhansk Oblast opened its meeting at about 8 p.m. on May 25.
Soldiers, police officers and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officers surrounded a building where the results of votes on presidential elections in the election district No 115 with center in Svatovo were received, registered and sent to Central Election Commission in Kyiv.
There were serious reasons for these precautions as in the afternoon separatist stormed six polling stations in and around of Novoaidar town and stole voting bulletins in four of them. The election officials in Svatovo still were waiting for the results in two remaining polling stations, where the commission members managed to hide from the attackers.
The thugs who stole the ballots were later found by the officers of anti-terrorist operation, which Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies carry out against the pro-Russian separatists on the southeast.
But in other places of Svatovo election district the elections were held "quiet, without serious violations, or problems for voters," Margaryta Stoliar, observer of Committee of Voters of Ukraine said.
The Ukrainian military forces and police guard the building of district election commission.
The district election commission in Svatovo, Luhansk Oblast, processes the results of early presidential elections on May 25.
The heads of the election commissions bring the ballots to the district election commission under the protection of police officers.
Editor’s Note: This article has been produced for Kyivpost with support from the project www.mymedia.org.ua, financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and implemented by a joint venture between NIRAS and BBC Media Action.The content in this article may not necessarily reflect the views of the Danish government, NIRAS and BBC Action Media.