Russian sham referendums end – vote in Donetsk and Luhansk
Created: 09/27/2022, 08:39
By: Stefan Krieger
Votes criticized by Kyiv and its western allies are ending in the territories annexed by Russia.
Kyiv – So-called referendums on Russian annexation in four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine end on Tuesday (September 27).
On the last day of voting in the separatist areas of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine's Donbass and in the southern Ukrainian regions of Cherson and Zaporizhia, the polling stations are to be opened.
So far, pro-Russian officials have gone from door to door to collect votes.
A soldier of the Donetsk People's Republic stands in front of a polling station in Donetsk before the start of the mock referendum.
After the end of the sham referendums in the occupied areas of Ukraine, a speedy union with Russia is expected.
According to the organizers, a minimum turnout of 50 percent was achieved in the occupied areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.
They are sham referendums because they are held without Ukraine's consent, under martial law and not according to democratic principles.
There have also been reports of people being forced to vote.
Bogus referendum: West classifies the vote as illegal
The voting, criticized by Kyiv and its western allies, began on Friday (September 23).
A possible annexation of the four Ukrainian regions to Russia as a result of the "referendums" is condemned by the West as illegal.
A further military escalation is also feared, because Ukrainian attacks on these regions could then be interpreted by Moscow as an attack on its national territory.
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At the beginning of the sham referendum on Friday, the Kremlin had already assumed that Russia would join Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the process for including the regions could be quick.
The areas are expected to be annexed and possibly declared Russian territory by Vladimir Putin as early as Friday (September 30).
(skr with dpa/AFP)