Four Georgians detained in Donetsk as Ukraine elects president
Four Georgian nationals were detained in eastern Ukraine over violations on Sunday as the country is holding presidential elections, with the opposition warning of attempts to disrupt the poll, the local police reported.
Ukraine is holding the first presidential elections since the 2004 Orange Revolution, with Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the opposition Party of Regions, and current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko seen as the main contenders for the president's post.
All the four Georgian nationals were detained in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, a stronghold of the Party of Regions.
One Georgian citizen was detained in the city's Voroshilovsky district for threatening the chairman of a district electoral commission and another was detained for the breach of the rules of stay in Ukraine, the police said.
The other two Georgians were detained in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk for penetrating a polling station and trying to tear off seals from ballot boxes, the police said.The Party of Regions warned earlier in the day of a possible attempt to disrupt the country's presidential vote as three charter flights from Georgia carrying over 400 "athletic men" landed in the country.
On Friday two charter flights from with of 297 Georgian men onboard landed in Donetsk. Some of them had lists of all polling stations in the region. The Georgians, aged from 25 to 40, told border guards that the purpose of their visit was to meet with Ukrainian girls they met on social networking sites.On Saturday another charter flight from Georgia with some 120 male passengers landed in the capital Kiev. The official purpose of their visit is unknown.
The Georgians were to "interfere in the electoral process... with an aim to change the outcome of the elections and disrupt the vote," Mykola Azarov, a member of the Party of Regions told a news conference on Saturday.Ukraine's central election body had earlier refused to register over 3,000 observers, sent by Georgia to Sunday's presidential polls, citing the absence of necessary documents. The number of monitors from the Caucasus state exceeded the total number of observers sent by other states and international organizations