KIEV, November 2 (RIA Novosti) — The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has launched a criminal investigation into the ongoing presidential and parliamentary elections in the self-proclaimed eastern republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, it said in a message posted Sunday on the SBU official account in Facebook.
“The SBU has opened a criminal probe into the so-called ‘elections’,” the statement said.
The Security Service, which is a state security agency in Ukraine, said the investigation was launched under Par. 1 Article 109 of the country’s Criminal Code that punishes “actions aimed at forceful change or overthrow of the constitutional order or takeover of government.”
This comes as voters in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics are going to polls to elect their leaders and legislatures. RIA Novosti correspondents report steady voting across eastern Ukraine.
In May, both regions declared themselves “people’s republics” and called to secede from Ukraine after the country went through a painful political crisis, which resulted in a coup in February.