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Ukraine Faces Split, Bloodshed, Putin Ally Says
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian parliamentary speaker Boris Gryzlov said Tuesday Ukraine was headed for breakup or bloodshed over its deadlocked presidential election.
The situation there is heading toward a split or toward bloodshed," Gryzlov, who briefly took part in attempts to mediate between pro-Moscow Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and West-leaning Viktor Yushchenko last week, told reporters.
"I see no other way the situation could develop," he said after leaders of the State Duma lower house invited the head of the city council of Donetsk, the largest city in eastern Ukraine, to brief parliamentarians Wednesday.
East Ukraine is mostly Russian speaking and strongly backs Yanukovich.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has openly supported Yanukovich in the Ukrainian poll and congratulated him on winning the election, branded by Yushchenko and the West as fraudulent.
Putin has urged the feuding candidates, whose supporters are leading mass protests across Ukraine for a second week, to solve their dispute though legal means.