‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ to bus Russian passport holders into Rostov region to vote in State Duma elections
The authorities in the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) are organizing hundreds of buses and a dozen trains to transport local residents with Russian passports across the border so that they can vote in this weekend’s State Duma elections.
According to Interfax, the authorities in the DNR — an unrecognized territory located in eastern Ukraine — are organizing no less than 825 bus routes and 12 train routes to Russia’s neighboring Rostov region. DNR leader Denis Pushilin said in a video message that there will be simplified border controls for DNR residents who are traveling to the Rostov region to cast their vote.
In July, Pushilin said that Russian passport holders living in the breakaway territories of eastern Ukraine would be able to vote in the Russian parliamentary elections at polling stations in the Rostov region or by casting their ballots remotely via Russia’s government service portal “Gosuslugi.”
In 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin simplified the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Ukrainians living in Crimea and the Donbas region prior to the spring of 2014. As of July 2021, 611,000 people living in the unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” had received Russian passports.