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A member of the Ukrainian election commission assists an elderly voter before she casts her vote in a mobile ballot box in the village of Nyzkovka on Sunday. Ukrainians voted on Sunday for a leader they hope will save their country from bankruptcy, dismemberment and civil war, but eastern cities were turned into ghost towns where armed separatist fighters kept polling stations shut. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Ayotte sees high voter turnout in Ukraine election

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she is seeing high voter turnout in Ukraine's presidential election.

Ayotte, R-N.H., was one of thousands of international observers monitoring the voting in the former Soviet republic on Sunday.

Ayotte appeared on Fox News Sunday and said the polling stations she visited in Kiev were running smoothly.

“People are waiting patiently,” she said. “They want to exercise their right to vote and to elect a new president.”

Ayotte said it is a different scene in two eastern Ukraine provinces, where Russian separatists have blocked voting through “violence, intimidation and fear.”

Ayotte said the unrest in the east could be leading to the high turnout in the west.

“I think what you see here is actually pushback against what has happened with the Russian aggression,” she said.

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