Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk prepare for a self-organized Nov. 2 vote, with rebel leader saying poll will give separatists legitimacy. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Pro-Russian separatists prepare to hold their own election in eastern Ukraine on November 2nd. The poll comes a week after Ukraine voted for a new parliament, and some residents in Donetsk are not quite sure what it will mean. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DONETSK RESIDENT, ELENA, SAYING: "They promise us that things will get better after the election. Perhaps there is hope that Russia will help us a bit. But no one knows." Alexander Zakharchenko, a leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, who is expected to prevail in the vote, says a new era is on the horizon. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) REBEL LEADER AND MAIN CANDIDATE AT UPCOMING ELECTION, ALEXANDER ZAKHARCHENKO, SAYING: "This election that will take place on November 2nd will be a crossover moment when our state will become legitimate. There is no point in pretending otherwise.' The dispute over the rebel vote has intensified the geo-political tussle between Russia and the West over the future of Ukraine, going back to the overthrow by protesters of the country's Moscow-backed president in February.