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KIEV, May 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov, appointed by the Verkhovna Rada as acting president, said the Kiev authorities are ready for the final stage of a special operation in Ukraine’s east.
Turchinov held a meeting with law enforcers in a military camp of the special operation near the city of Slavyansk in the Donetsk Region on Wednesday.
The Ukrainian parliament said the key tasks of the final stage were discussed at the meeting.
Turchinov said the armed forces are ready to conduct a mopping-up operation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and ensure that Ukrainian presidential elections are held there May 25.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in the country in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and became part of Russia on March 18 following a referendum.
Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against pro-federalization activists in southeastern regions of Ukraine.
The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.
After the plebiscite, co-chairman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said the DPR asked Russia to adopt it as a constituent member.