KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — International observers have hailed Ukraine's presidential vote as a "genuine election," saying it was held freely and fairly.

Joao Soares, special coordinator of the OSCE observer mission in Kiev, said the vote was held "largely in line with international commitments" and said the Ukrainian authorities should be commended for their efforts to hold a vote in the unstable security environment in the east.

Soares said the OSCE did however report multiple instances of threats, intimidation and abduction of election officials in the east, which is overrun by pro-Russian militia.

(Story by: Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press)