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/UKRAINE: Annexation "Referendums" In Occupied Ukrainian Regions Begin

RUSSIA

The administrations of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics and the occupied Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are set to hold "referendums" to join Russia from Friday through Tuesday, with results to be published up to five days after polls close. Local media report that polling stations for displaced residents of the four regions have already opened in Russia's Far East.

  • It is certain that the collaborationist administrations will report overwhelming support for the accession to the Russian Federation, which is part of Moscow's strategy to formalise its control over southeast Ukraine (including a land corridor to Crimea) and deter Kyiv's counteroffensives. On the eve of the "votes," Russian state media have circulated opinion polls, in which between 80% and 91% of respondents allegedly said they would choose to join Russia.
  • TASS agency reported that voters in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions will be asked if they support the "secession from Ukraine, the formation of an independent state by the region and its entry into the Russian Federation." The two Donbas regions will vote just on their accession to Russia.
  • The separatist authorities will not bother to create an illusion of democratic legitimacy, with the Kremlin rushing to finalise the process. A fully fledged simulation of a region-wide vote, like the one seen in Crimea in 2014, is impossible in wartime conditions, with large parts of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions still under Ukraine's control.
  • Some analysts suggest that Russia may extend its partial mobilisation to the newly annexed Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, using eligible residents to replenish its troops without risking greater domestic backlash that could follow the deployment of more Russian conscripts. Collaborationist administrations of Luhansk and Donetsk regions ordered general mobilisations days before Russia launched its invasion on February 24.
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The administrations of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics and the occupied Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are set to hold "referendums" to join Russia from Friday through Tuesday, with results to be published up to five days after polls close. Local media report that polling stations for displaced residents of the four regions have already opened in Russia's Far East.

  • It is certain that the collaborationist administrations will report overwhelming support for the accession to the Russian Federation, which is part of Moscow's strategy to formalise its control over southeast Ukraine (including a land corridor to Crimea) and deter Kyiv's counteroffensives. On the eve of the "votes," Russian state media have circulated opinion polls, in which between 80% and 91% of respondents allegedly said they would choose to join Russia.
  • TASS agency reported that voters in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions will be asked if they support the "secession from Ukraine, the formation of an independent state by the region and its entry into the Russian Federation." The two Donbas regions will vote just on their accession to Russia.
  • The separatist authorities will not bother to create an illusion of democratic legitimacy, with the Kremlin rushing to finalise the process. A fully fledged simulation of a region-wide vote, like the one seen in Crimea in 2014, is impossible in wartime conditions, with large parts of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions still under Ukraine's control.
  • Some analysts suggest that Russia may extend its partial mobilisation to the newly annexed Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, using eligible residents to replenish its troops without risking greater domestic backlash that could follow the deployment of more Russian conscripts. Collaborationist administrations of Luhansk and Donetsk regions ordered general mobilisations days before Russia launched its invasion on February 24.