Voters in Ukraine hope for peace and an end to war as they cast their vote in a key election that is expected to install a pro-Western parliament. Pavithra George reports.
Under the watchful eyes of Vladimir Lenin, residents in the eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha cast their vote --- in a key election, one that is expected to install a pro-Western parliament---and break away from Ukraine's Soviet past. This town lies about 30 miles south of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk - where clashes between pro-Russians separatists and Ukrainian forces have killed more than 3700 people. Rebel-held regions will hold their own elections in November. A few hours away, in the village of Novoaidar, also on the frontlines of the conflict , soldiers streamed into polling stations to cast their vote. The election takes place amid a shaky ceasefire between government troops and pro-Russian rebels, and war-weary residents say they just want peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UNNAMED LOCAL RESIDENT, SAYING: "More than anything we want good peace. The most important thing is good peace, so everything will be calm and peaceful, so they will not be shooting at our grandchildren." A hope for an end to the violence, echoed even in Ukraine's peaceful regions - Far from the conflict in the east, residents in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, near the border with Poland hoped that a new parliament would usher in an era of peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) LVIV RESIDENT, VOLODYMYR SYUTYK, SAYING: "We are hoping for better, and we want this war to be over finally. And we want our lives to become easier." Polling stations opened at 8:00 a.m across the country Opinion polls indicated a political group supporting President Poroshenko was likely to become the main force in the 450-seat assembly.