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In pictures: Ukraine remains tense as presidential elections approach

Moscow announced Monday that Russian military units would pull back from the Ukrainian border, but as Ukrainian officials pursued their campaign against pro-Russian separatists in the east, the country remained on edge amid preparations for next weekend's vote

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People take part in a drill conducted by members of the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and other Ukrainian security services, to resist and prevent mass unrest, in Odessa, May 19, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered military forces to return to their permanent bases after drills in three regions bordering Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Yevgeny Volokin/REUTERS

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People take part in a drill to resist and prevent mass unrest conducted by members of the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and other Ukrainian security services in Odessa May 19, 2014.

Yevgeny Volokin/REUTERS

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Members of the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and other Ukrainian security services take part in a drill to resist and prevent mass unrest in Odessa May 19, 2014.

Yevgeny Volokin/REUTERS

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A pro-Russian activist stands at a barricade near the office of the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) in Luhansk May 19, 2014.

VALENTYN OGIRENKO/REUTERS

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Members of a regional electoral commission prepare for the upcoming presidential election at the executive committee headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Krasnoarmeisk in the Donetsk region May 19, 2014.

MAXIM ZMEYEV/REUTERS

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Ukrainian army soldiers on guard duty at a base outside Izyum, Ukraine, May 19, 2014. With less than a week to go until Ukraine's presidential election, the latest polls show billionaire Petro Poroshenko, a confection magnate known as the Chocolate King, as the heavy favorite.

SERGEY PONOMAREV/NYT

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Women walk past a barricade near the office of the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) in Luhansk May 19, 2014. The Kremlin announced on Monday President Vladimir Putin had ordered Russian forces near Ukraine back to their bases, but NATO and the United States said they saw no sign of a pullback and Moscow had failed to carry out such promises before. Ukraine holds a presidential election on Sunday which Western countries consider a crucial event in resolving the country's crisis.

VALENTYN OGIRENKO/REUTERS

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Pro-Russians warm themselves at a bonfire at a street barricade in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Monday, May 19, 2014. Heavy mortar fire outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk has damaged a large gas pipeline and set off a fire. Slovyansk has been the epicenter of fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian insurgents, who have seized government buildings across the east.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

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A bodyguard holds a pistol as insurgent leader Denis Pushilin, right, sits backdropped by the flag of the Donetsk Republic, in Donetsk, Ukraine, Monday, May 19, 2014. Ukraine will hold presidential elections on May 25.

Vadim Ghirda/AP

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