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Ukraine’s acting head orders 24/7 protection for 3 presidential candidates

April 18, 2014, 14:35 UTC+3 KIEV
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former Governor of the Kharkiv Region Mykhailo Dobkin and tycoon Petro Poroshenko will be guarded round-the-clock
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Presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (center) in a crowd of people

Presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (center) in a crowd of people

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

KIEV, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian parliament-appointed Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered on Friday to provide a round-the-clock protection for 3 presidential candidates, who are set to run in the snap elections slated for May 25.

The three candidates who will be guarded 24/7 are former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former Governor of the Kharkiv Region Mykhailo Dobkin and tycoon Petro Poroshenko.

A total of 23 people were registered by Ukraine’s Central Election Commission to run for the post of the country’s president.

Nine registered candidates were nominated by political parties. Tymoshenko was nominated by the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, former Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko - by the Civil Position party, former Minister of Revenues and Duties Oleksandr Klimenko - by the Ukrainian People’s Party, former Minister of Social Policy Natalia Korolevskaya - by the Ukraine-Forward party, Vasily Kuibida - by the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Rukh), Oleh Lyashko - by the Radical Party, Petro Symonenko - by the Ukrainian Communist Party, Oleh Tyahnibok - by the Svoboda (Freedom) party, and Dmytro Yarosh - by the Right Sector radical organization.

Other candidates, including Poroshenko, are self-nominees. Poroshenko, however, can count on the support from Vitali Klitschko’s UDAR party, while Mykhailo Dobkin is backed by the Party of Regions.

Ukraine saw a coup in February, which brought new people to power amid deadly riots. Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. It held a referendum in which it decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. A relevant deal was signed March 18.

Moscow does not recognize the de facto Kiev authorities either.

After Crimea’s accession to Russia, which Kiev does not accept despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum was in conformity with the international law, protests against the new Ukrainian leaders have erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization.

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