KIEV, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine has deployed tens of thousands of police and volunteers to maintain public order ahead of Sunday' s presidential election, an interior ministry official said Tuesday.
"The Interior Ministry is taking targeted steps to ensure safety of civilians and members of election commissions," said Andriy Chaly, head of the Interior Ministry's Department for Mass Public Events, at a press conference.
Around 55,700 police forces and 20,000 volunteers would be mobilized to guarantee security during the voting across Ukraine, he said, adding extra security measures would be taken in the country's eastern Donesk and Lugansk regions, which had plunged into chaos following anti-government protests.
Ukraine's presidential election is set to take place despite waves of violence and political instability in the country's eastern regions, where government forces have launched bouts of offensive against pro-Russia activists to regain control.
UN human rights representative Ivan Simonovic cast doubts on Monday over the prospects of holding the presidential election in eastern Ukraine, where he said the situation there had deteriorated so much that the region could collapse.
A total of 18 candidates would compete for the country's top post, with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and businessman Petro Poroshenko emerging as front runners.
The election was called after former President Viktor Yanukovych was forced out of office in February and fled to Russia soon afterwards.