On September 28th, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the authorities of the territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by the Russian military, summed up the results of referenda on joining Russia.
As a result of the voting that took place in the regions on September 23-27, 98.42% citizens of the LPR voted for joining Russia: in the DPR, 99.23% of the population supported the decision to join Russia; in the Kherson region, 87.05% voted ‘Yes’ for independence from Ukraine joining Russia; in the Zaporozhye region, 93.11% voted for creation of independent state and joining Russia.
The Kherson and Zaporozhie region intend to declare their independence within the administrative borders, i.e. including the territories that are currently under control of the Ukrainian military.
The total turnout in the LPR, was 92.6%; in the DPR, 97.51%; in the Kherson region, 76.86%, and in Zaporozhye, in was 85.4%.
Polling stations were opened on the territories of the voting regions and abroad. In 84 Russian regions, there were about 600 polling stations, most of them were located in the south of Russia, as most of the refugees were located there. In total, more than 4 million people have arrived in Russia from Ukraine since February, said Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova.
The results of the referenda are not surprising. The war-torn Donbass regions have been suffering the Ukrainian military aggression for more than 8 years. The pro-Ukrainian citizens have already left the territories that came under control of Russian-led forces. At the same time, Kiev has banned its supporters in the lost territories from voting, threatening them with long prison terms and confiscation of property. Thus, the results of the referenda are not questioned.
The Western media attempt to show the locals being forced to vote by Russian soldiers but independent observers confirm that this is a lie. International observers from various countries, including Italy, France, Egypt, Syria, Belarus, were present at the polling stations both in the voting regions and beyond. They confirm that the referenda were held peacefully, without any violations. Soldiers did not interrupt in the voting process but protected civilians at polling stations, as there was a high risk of military provocations from Kiev.
The international observers confirm that Ukraine and various Western countries are putting pressure on them “according to the best democratic traditions”. Many of them have been blacklisted by the EU and cannot return home. In their home countries, they risk being fired and disgruntled Ukrainians threaten them with violence on a daily basis.
Referenda in Donbass and in the liberated territories were held transparently and in compliance with all electoral norms, their progress was observed by more than 100 independent observers from 40 countries, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations said.
The observer from Germany shares his impressions on referendum procedure:
“The German media are calling this referendum – ‘fake’ referendum. I’m shocked about this,” said Christoph Höretel. Observer from Germany argues that killing and pressing the people, bombing and destroying civilian infrastructure were not the fake of the last 8 years.
Observer stressed that referendum is the opportunity for Donbass people to determine their own future.
“All the procedures are very well regulated <…>, due to security reasons it’s acceptable” conclude Christoph.
Moscow has already declared its readiness to support the results of the referenda and accept the new regions if the people vote for it.
Russian legislation allows a procedure for joining a new entity, i.e. a foreign state or part of it. Admission should be based on an international agreement. Before its signing, the President of Russia notifies the Federal Assembly and the government. After the document is concluded, the President appeals to the Constitutional Court with a request to assess the compliance of the agreement with the Constitution. If the court finds no violations, then the agreement together with the draft federal constitutional law, which defines the name of the new entity, its status, borders, transitional provisions, are sent to the State Duma, and then to the Federation Council. After the adoption of the document by the chambers of Parliament, an amendment is made to Article 65 of the Constitution and the names of new subjects of the Russian Federation are added there.
So far, the date of the signing of the agreement has not been revealed. It is expected to take place in early October. Another suspected date of the signing is September 30. Following the results of the referenda on the accession of the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Russia, the authorities planned a demonstration in the center of Moscow, which is scheduled for September 30. Vladimir Putin is expected to take a speech which can be accompanied by the signing of an agreement on joining the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions into Russia.
Some experts suggest that after the new regions become part of the Russian Federation, Moscow will declare war to Ukraine. In his turn, the head of Crimea Sergey Aksenov declared that Moscow will no longer conduct a special military operation, but a counterterrorist one.
“The new status of the liberated territories will put an end to uncertainty. They will become official subjects of the Russian Federation. And in fact, we will no longer conduct a special military operation, but a counter-terrorist operation on our territories. We have fought for our people before. Now we will fight for our land,” Aksenov said.
Remind: there is still no war in Ukraine. The hostilities began years ago when Kiev launched a counterterrorist operation against the pro-Russian population of the Donbass region. In 2022 Russia responded with a special military operation in Ukraine. Any of the warring sides are yet to declare war.
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