May 24 - Ukrainian leaders head to church to pray for peace ahead of election, while residents of Slaviansk remain afraid of ongoing violence. Nathan Frandino reports.
A day before elections in Ukraine, its interim leaders pray for peace. The country will vote for a new president following the February ouster of Viktor Yanukovich. Authorities in Kiev hope the vote can help end a bitter confrontation with Russia. They also hope to avoid further bloodshed, which continues to spill in eastern Ukraine. In cities like Slaviansk, the epicenter of pro-Russian separatist activity, it's unknown how the election will go forward. Rebels there have said they won't allow it. Residents, though, are just afraid. Two days ago, artillery fire and explosions lasted through the night. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, MARIA, SAYING: "I am frightened because we are being bombed heavily. Our people bomb our people. How are we able to take this? I don't know." Earlier this month pro-Moscow rebels declared a resounding victory in a referendum on self-rule for eastern Ukraine and vowed to join Russia.