As the first step in Russia’s annexation of an additional 100,000 square kilometers of territory in Ukraine, the referendums in the four occupied regions produced fully expected results – a departure from what the authorities had attempted, to the extent that Russia itself could only shrug. should be presented as a historical event.
Final, but not yet official, results show tremendous success “Connection to the Russian Federation”The period selected for consultation: 99% in the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic” of Donetsk, 98% in Luhansk, 93% in the Moscow-controlled region of Zaporizhia, and 87% in the Kherson region.
Participation figures fluctuate between 77% and 97%. Knowing that one-half of the inhabitants of these regions chose to flee into exile and that no census was conducted there, this “exceptional” participation cannot be a reliable indicator of consultation.
Only a few foreign observers have supported and appreciated the process “Democratic Practice” Without a hitch. The profile of this audience, most of them Russian-based, attests to a stark contrast compared to the Crimean annexation referendum in 2014 or the various votes organized in Donetsk and Luhansk since then. Send visitors.
History will no doubt retain images of these polls, with veiled armed men going to voters’ residences with mobile ballot boxes, or police vehicles driving through empty streets to call for votes through loudspeakers. Even the Wagner Group mercenary company, whose ranks were recently filled with prisoners, said it contributed to the referendum over five days from September 23 to 27.
An atmosphere of excitement and terror
Procedures were flexible enough to allow for a large number of irregularities. In Donetsk, French journalists were able to observe a woman voting in place of her granddaughter without disturbing the organizers in front of a camera. the world Not allowed to work in separatist territories.
The “traditional” vote was held on Tuesday, September 27, the last day of the consultation to provide beautiful pictures to Russian television. You will see an over-representation of the elderly and women – thousands of men sent to the front and thousands confined to their homes to escape conscription.
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