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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Russia staged an election stunt. People were forced to vote at gunpoint

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A hutzpah called elections took place on Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia. Mobile “electoral commissions” went door to door with armed guards.

In the territories of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops, residents took part in Russian local elections. This was to show that these areas were now part of Russia for good. “Tragifarce” is too gentle a description of this “vote”. It is enough to listen to the recited and memorized statements of members of pseudo-election commissions. – The elections went great, turnout was very high. Thanks to mobile electoral commissions, people were able to vote safely and conveniently, for which they are very grateful, said Maria Khomchenko, chairwoman of the commission in Donetsk.

In the occupied parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson oblasts, pseudo-voting has been going on since the end of August. Voters were brought to the polling stations by buses. Those who were unable or unwilling to vote were visited at home by a mobile electoral commission guarded by armed representatives of the occupation police. Nearly half of the candidates for regional councils were so-called “paratroopers” from Russia. Pro-Kremlin media showed voters overjoyed that they could finally vote in the Russian elections.

Elections organized by Russians in occupied DonetskEPA/STRINGER

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The only possible winner

The pseudo-elections in the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia were condemned by the entire civilized world. The Council of Europe called it “a clear violation of international law.” Ukrainian planes scattered leaflets over Donetsk, occupied since 2014, urging people to ignore the Russian pseudo-elections. The authorities in Kiev decided that voting at gunpoint is not a crime, but working in “election commissions” or other forms of cooperation with pro-Kremlin forces is.

– Thanks to the long voting period and various forms of voting, everyone who wanted to take part in the elections. This is important, especially in a difficult security situation, said Maria Khomchenko.

During the weekend, all of Russia elected its local government officials. “These were not real elections,” said the “Głos” organization that monitored the voting process. It reports intimidation and arrests of opposition candidates, destruction of their cars and mass forgeries. It was made much easier by the pseudo-system of electronic voting, which cannot be controlled.

– On Saturday we had traditional practices. So-called “carousels”. This is repeated illegal voting by the same people. In addition, there was forgery of ballots and strong pressure with the participation of the police on candidates, observers, commission members and media representatives – says Stanisław Andrejczuk, head of the “Głos” Observation Group. There could be only one winner – Putin’s United Russia party won everywhere. Everywhere, even in eastern Ukraine, she received over 70 percent of the votes. This is supposed to be a signal that the ruler of the Kremlin is allegedly “the greatest guarantor of stability and security.” Putin’s man won the most prestigious vote in the Russian capital. Sergei Sobyanin will still be the mayor of Moscow – he won three-quarters of the votes.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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