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Ukraine Steps Up Security On Eve Of Election


30 October -- Ukraine's Interior Minister warned police will use force if needed to uphold security in tomorrow's presidential elections.

Mykola Bilokon said 140,000 police officers will be stationed at polling stations.

An extra 2,200 Interior Ministry troops will be sent to the capital Kyiv on 1 November, the day opposition supporters plan to stage a massive demonstration.

Supporters of the two main candidates -- pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and pro-Western Viktor Yuschenko -- are accusing the other side of dirty tricks and attempts to disrupt the vote.

President Leonid Kuchma, who supports Yanukovich, called on 29 October for calm.

"Some people clearly want to portray this election as myths involving extremes," Kuchma said. "This involves dividing our fellow countrymen into rival camps of friends and foes. In a democratic society, people choose from political programs and political figures -- and not between images of heaven on earth and hell."

Russian President Vladimir Putin called today for work to start immediately on new rules favoring Russian-Ukrainian dual citizenship.

The move appeared aimed at encouraging support for Yanukovich among the many Ukrainians with interests in Russia.

(AFP)
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