The Russian occupying forces in Ukraine, together with the separatists from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, have scheduled a vote on the occupied territories joining the Russian Federation. Also in the regions Kherson and Zaporizhia such an interrogation is to take place. The votes are believed to be rigged. The most important questions and answers.
How should the surveys be carried out?
Voting is to take place from September 23rd to 27th. Even the day before, however, many details are still unclear. Voting will probably not take place online, as was said beforehand, but in polling stations with a ballot paper. According to the Russian news agency RIA there is only one question on them, in Russian and Ukrainian: whether the regions want to secede from Ukraine, found an independent state and join Russia.
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Voting can take place not only in the affected areas, but also in Russian-occupied Crimea and in some regions of Russia, as the news agency also reports. Officially, this should enable Ukrainian refugees to participate.
Can that be representative?
no Organizing a legitimate and representative vote in the middle of a war is difficult, if not impossible. In addition, the Russian army does not control the entire territory of the areas to be voted on. And with the possibility of casting a vote in Crimea and Russia, it will be very easy for Moscow to manipulate this vote, which has long been assumed internationally.
The polls are mock referendums, and in all likelihood it is already certain that Moscow will announce a landslide victory and declare the territories part of Russia.
What are the international reactions to this?
Kyiv warned the citizens of Ukraine on Tuesday: Any participation would be considered a "violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity," and anyone who helped organize the votes or applied for a Russian passport would be liable to prosecution. Internationally too, many governments have already announced that they do not want to recognize the "referendums".
What happened in Crimea in 2014?
On March 16, 2014, in a similar poll, 95.5 percent reportedly voted in favor of Crimea's "reunification" with Russia. Previously, the peninsula had been practically occupied by Russian troops without national emblems. The vote is not internationally recognized and is believed to have been tampered with. Among other things, Russian citizens are said to have been flown in to take part.
Although there is a large pro-Russian minority in southern Ukraine, an almost unanimous vote for joining Russia has also been an unlikely outcome. In a recent Ukrainian poll, only 41 percent of voters were in favor of secession.