“Threat of dismissal for house search, the ballot box is transparent”… Voting to annex Russian occupied territories begins

photo credit: Yonhap News

Russia held a referendum to annex territories occupied in Ukraine to its own territory.

Even on Election Day, the basic conditions and principles of voting had not been fully established, to the extent that there was evidence that soldiers were searching houses and forcing them to vote while the shelling continued in various places.

According to Reuters and AFP, at 8:00 local time on the 23rd local time, four regions in eastern Ukraine, where the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic were founded, were protesting against the incorporation of the territory into four . regions: Donetsk and Luhansk, and southern Zaporiza and Kherson Voting has begun.

However, even during the voting period, battles continued throughout the occupied territories.

Luhansk’s pro-Russian militia said Ukrainian forces fired six rockets into the town of Stakanov around 6:15 a.m. before voting began.

The former Mayor of Melitopol, Zaporiza, Ivan Fedorov, told the testimony of the residents that they heard a loud explosion around 7 am before the voting started.

There have also been cases of forced voting against residents or breaking the principle of secret voting.

In fact, it was also confirmed in a photo reported by state-run Russian media that an employee of the National Electoral Commission collected votes while holding a transparent plastic ballot box around their neck at the site.

According to a survey conducted by the Russian Institute of Social Marketing Research, about 80 to 90% of the residents of the occupied territories support the incorporation of the territory into Russia.

In Crimea, which was occupied by Russia in 2014, a referendum on territorial annexation was passed with 97% in favor.

Russia occupies most of Luhansk Oblast and Kherson Oblast, 80% of Zaporiza Oblast and 60% of Donetsk Oblast, occupying about 15% of the total area of ​​Ukraine.

Voting continues for five days until the 27th.

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