Ukraine Holds Crucial Election

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News,World,Ukraine

Voters streamed into polling stations in Kiev for Ukraine's critical presidential election on Sunday, while in the troubled east, heavily armed pro-Russian rebels intimidated voters by smashing ballot boxes and blocking access to voting centers. (May 25)

SHOTLIST:

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Kiev, Ukraine - May 25, 2014

1. Ukrainian Presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko and his wife voting, he shouts "Glory to Ukraine" as he casts ballot

2. Wide of Poroshenko surrounded by press

3. Wide Klitschko brothers voting

4. Closeup of election worker with ballot

5. Voters dropping ballots in box

6. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko voting

7. SOUNDBITE (Ukrainian) Yulia Tymoshenko, Presidential candidate: (transcript below)

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Krasnoarmiisk, Ukraine - May 25, 2014

8. Various of people voting

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Donetsk, Ukraine - May 25, 2014

9. Wide exterior administration building in Donetsk, with masked militia from the Donetsk People's Republic smashing up confiscated ballot boxes

10. Close shattered ballot boxes on the ground

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Various - May 25, 2014

11. Various of voting

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Kiev, Ukraine - May 25, 2014

12. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Maria Petrenko, Kiev resident: (transcript below)

13. SOUNDBITE (Ukrainian) Ivan Yakimtsev, Kiev resident: (transcript below)

14. Various of voting

VOICEOVER SCRIPT:

-nats-

SHOUTING 'GLORY TO UKRAINE'... PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PETRO POROSHENKO CAST HIS BALLOT IN KIEV ON SUNDAY...

IN AN ELECTION THAT THAT IS WIDELY SEEN AS KEY TO RESTORING ORDER.

POLLS HAVE SHOWN THE 48-YEAR-OLD BILLIONAIRE CANDY-MAKER FAR AHEAD OF THE OTHER 20 CANDIDATES, BUT SHORT OF THE ABSOLUTE MAJORITY NEEDED TO WIN IN THE FIRST ROUND.

HIS NEAREST CHALLENGER IS FORMER PRIME MINISTER YULIA TYMOSHENKO, WHO STRONGLY SUPPORTS CLOSER TIES WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO.

(Tymoshenko) "Today I voted for a European Ukraine, which can change the lives of every Ukrainian," SHE SAID. "I am convinced that Ukraine can be strong, happy and prosperous if it becomes a member of the European Union."

VOTER TURNOUT APPEARED TO BE RELATIVELY SPARSE IN THE TROUBLED EAST, WHERE HEAVILY-ARMED PRO-RUSSIAN REBELS WERE SEEN INTIMIDATING VOTERS BY SMASHING BALLOT BOXES AND BLOCKING ACCESS TO THE POLLS.

SUNDAY'S ELECTION COMES THREE MONTHS AFTER THE OUSTER OF UKRAINE'S PRO-RUSSIA LEADER... CHASED AWAY BY LARGE-SCALE DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE CAPITAL.

SOUNDBITE (Russian) Maria Petrenko, Kiev resident: "I just voted for normal life in our country, only for that. I have three grandchildren and want a better life for them in a normal country."

SOUNDBITE (ukrainian) Ivan Yakimtsev, Kiev resident: "I hope for positive changes in the country after the election. Maybe an order will be done and the mess will be stopped, especially in Eastern Ukraine where civil war is happening."

IF NO-ONE WINS AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY IN SUNDAY'S VOTE, A RUN-OFF IS SET FOR JUNE 15TH.

HANNAH BUCHDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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