Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk (R) meets with Foreign Ministers (L-R) Borge Brende of Norway, Urmas Paet of Estonia, and Martin Lidegaard of Denmark, in Kiev May 23, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kravchenko/Pool
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President Vladimir Putin announced Friday that Russia will recognize the outcome of Ukraine's presidential vote this weekend but voiced hope that Ukraine would halt its military operation against separatists in the east.Earlier, Putin had blamed the West for encouraging a "coup" in Ukraine when the nation's pro-Russian president was chased from power and for plunging the country into what he described as "chaos and a full-scale civil war".In a live televised address from Kiev, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, who is not running, emphasized the importance of Sunday's vote to choose a new leader.Twenty-one candidates are competing Sunday to become Ukraine's next leader.Pro-Russian insurgents also have seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine and fought government troops for more than a month.While many in eastern Ukraine resent the government in Kiev, they are also growing increasingly exasperated with the insurgents, whom they blame for putting civilians in the crossfire.
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