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A Russian policeman near a Luhansk polling station for the Russian-organized annexation "referendum," Sept. 27, 2022

Literally incredible The results of Russian-staged annexation ‘referendums’

Source: Meduza
A Russian policeman near a Luhansk polling station for the Russian-organized annexation "referendum," Sept. 27, 2022
A Russian policeman near a Luhansk polling station for the Russian-organized annexation "referendum," Sept. 27, 2022
AP / Scanpix / LETA

Today was the final day of the vote in the Kremlin-organized “referendums” on the future of several Russian-controlled Ukrainian territories. Results from polling stations located within Russia were reported earlier today by the Interfax, followed by further figures, reported from the regions where “referendums” were held.

According to Russia’s Central Electoral Committee, voters from the self-proclaimed “DNR” who are currently in Russia — based on the complete count of “voting protocols” (ballot papers) cast at polling stations within Russia — have supposedly given 98.69 percent of the vote in favor of joining the Russian Federation. Votes cast by residents of the self-proclaimed “LNR” who are currently in Russia are showing similar results — 97.93 percent also in favor of joining. 96.75 percent have supposedly voted the same way with regard to the occupied Kherson region, and 97.81 percent with respect to the occupied Zaporizhzhia.

Note: This story originally conflated these figures, reported from within Russia, with “referendum” results from Ukraine’s occupied territories. In fact, the first reported figures were the official results among “voters” from the occupied territories who are currently in Russia and voted there. Meduza apologizes for the error.

“Referendum” results from the occupied and Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine have also been announced. Based on a complete ballot count in Zaporizhzhia, 93.11 percent of the votes are claimed to be in favor of joining Russia. Also in favor are, reportedly, the occupied Kherson region (87.05 percent) and the self-proclaimed “DNR” (99.23 percent) and “LNR” (98.42 percent).

In the “DNR” and “LNR,” the “referendum ballots” posed the question whether residents supported the region’s “entry into Russia as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation.” In the occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, the ballots contained the following question: “Are you in favor of the region’s secession from Ukraine, its reconstitution as an independent state and its incorporation into the Russian Federation as a federal subject?”

Russia’s ambitions in orchestrating these “referendums” are fairly clear. Last June, Meduza reported on Kremlin’s plans to hold annexation “referendums” in occupied Ukrainian territories, and to turn the regions annexed in this manner into a single “federal district” within the Russian Federation.

Vedomosti now reports that, according to its sources, Crimea, too, will be made part of that new district, bruited to be named “the Crimean district.” Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of Russia’s space agency, Roskosmos, is said to be the main candidate for becoming the Russian-backed governor of the newly-annexed Ukrainian territories.

Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the vote, calling it “a farce” that cannot be considered “as much as an imitation” of genuine referendums. “We knew in advance what figures they would conjure. Our intelligence didn’t have to work especially hard,” he said.

The only rational response to this impudence on the part of the invaders is to increase support for Ukraine. I thank our partners, who continue to confirm their support — military, financial, and in the form of sanctions.

“Russia’s criminal actions,” Zelensky added, “will change nothing for Ukraine.” “We shall continue to act in defense of our people in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, in the Donbas, in the still-occupied Kharkiv region, and in the Crimea,” he promised.

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