The Republic of Donbass, as well as the authorities of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by the Russian military, announced their intention to hold referendums on joining Russia. The main thing about referendums is in the RBC material
The authorities of the DPR, LPR and Russian-controlled territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions simultaneously announced the holding of referendums on joining Russia. This was done synchronously and very quickly: less than a day passed from the appearance of the first messages about requests to organize such a vote to the reaction of the authorities, and decisions on the timing and methods of holding referendums— about three hours.
- On September 19, the Public Chamber of the LPR addressed the head of the region, Leonid Pasechnik, and the People's Council (parliament) with the initiative to immediately hold a referendum on joining Russia. On the same day, the Public Chamber of the Donetsk People's Republic prepared a similar appeal to the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, and the People's Council of the Republic. Pushilin suggested that Pasechnik begin joint preparations for referendums, that is, “join the efforts of the administrations of the heads of the republics and the apparatus of parliaments.”
- The next day, the public movement “We are together with Russia” asked the head of the military-civilian administration (MAC) of the Zaporozhye region, Yevgeny Balitsky, to also hold a referendum on joining the territory to Russia as soon as possible. At that time, a congress was held in Melitopol (located in the south of the region), at which the issue of holding a plebiscite was discussed.
- Balitsky said in response that a referendum on the accession of the Zaporozhye region to Russia will be held from September 23 to 27, about which he signed a corresponding decree. At the same time, the CAA of the region noted that the referendum would be held only in the territories controlled by Russia.
- Vladimir Rogov, a member of the CAA of the Zaporozhye region, said that the authorities plan to declare independence and become part of Russia within their administrative borders.
- On September 20, the People's Council of the LPR appointed a referendum on joining Russia for the period from September 23 to 27, 2022. The same dates were chosen for the referendum in the DPR.
- Deputies of both republics unanimously adopted laws on holding referendums.
- September 20, a referendum was proposed to be held in the Kherson region. The head of the regional CAA, Vladimir Saldo, announced that he had signed a decree on holding a vote simultaneously with a referendum in the DPR and LPR— also from 23 to 27 September.
- The balance asked Vladimir Putin to support the decision of the inhabitants of the region in a referendum on joining Russia. “On behalf of the public and residents of the Kherson region, realizing the centuries-old historical and inextricable connection with the multinational people of the Russian Federation, in order to determine the international legal personality, we ask you, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, when making a decision at a referendum, support the choice of the residents of the Kherson region on self-determination and entry into composition of the Russian Federation»,— says in the appeal of the Balance to Putin.
- The head of the DPR, Pushilin, asked Vladimir Putin in the middle of the day on September 20 that the republic, after the referendum on joining Russia on September 23 & ndash; 27, be “as soon as possible” included in the Federation with a positive outcome of the vote.
- The head of the LPR, Pasechnik, said that he would send an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to accept the republic as part of Russia as soon as possible based on the results of the vote. According to him, in this matter “you can not delay” and “there is no turning back.”
What we know about the referendums
- In all regions, voting will take place simultaneously and will continue for five days— from 23 to 27 September. Of these five days, four voting will be held at the place of residence and in public places, that is, outside the polling stations. One more day will be allotted for those who would like to vote “at the polling station in the usual way.” As Pushilin stated, in the DPR this is due to the observance of security measures.
- In the DPR the question for the voting ballot was formulated as follows: “Supporters of the DPR joining the RF as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation?»
- In LPR the question will sound like this: “Are you in favor of the LPR joining the Russian Federation as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation?”
- In Zaporozhye region formulated the question as follows: “Are you in favor of secession of the Zaporozhye region from Ukraine, formation of an independent state by the Zaporozhye region and its entry into the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation?” It will be duplicated in Ukrainian.
< li>Bulletin in Kherson regionwill contain the question: “Are you in favor of secession of the region from Ukraine, the formation of the Kherson region as an independent state and its entry into the Russian Federation as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation?”
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- In the Zaporozhye region, during the referendum, citizens will be by-addressed, “teams” will go to the addresses; consisting of CEC members and police officers who will invite residents to vote. The head of the region's CAA, Yevgeny Balitsky, also explained this with security considerations. Those who cannot vote under the conditions of door-to-door bypass will be able to vote in person at polling stations on September 27, he added.
- Volodymyr Rogov, a member of the State Administration of the Zaporizhia region, explained in his telegram channel how the referendum would be held: on September 23-26, it will be possible to vote at home, from 08:00 to 20:00, on September 27— at polling stations from 08:00 to 16:00. In total, 394 polling stations were created in the Russian-controlled part of the region, 85 were organized outside of it: in Russia, the Kherson region, the DPR and the LPR. More than 500,000 people are expected to take part in the voting. The CAA announced that it was ready to vote: technological equipment, portable and stationary ballot boxes, booths to ensure the secrecy of voting, safes for documentation and printing of election commissions were purchased.
The Russian military controls the southern and central parts of the region, including the cities of Melitopol and Energodar, where Europe's largest nuclear power plant is located. The regional center of Zaporozhye remains under the control of Kyiv.
- There will be no electronic voting. This was stated by Pushilin and Balitsky. According to the head of the DPR, they decided not to use this method, given the short time for training and the level of technical equipment. According to him, citizens will vote “at their places of residence, in public places”, that is, outside the polling stations, only one day will be allotted for voting at the polling stations. Balitsky noted that his region is “not ready” to electronic voting.
- Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia Nikolai Bulaev said that the use of the Russian method of remote electronic voting (DEV) in the DPR and LPR was not “correct” because the DEG “is the property of another state.”< /li>
- Bulaev also said that Russian CEC observers could take part in the referenda.
- The CEC also organizes polling stations in Russia for referendums in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, Bulaev noted.
- In the DPR, if it joins Russia, the Constitution will be adapted to the laws of the country, but the flag of the republic will not change, said Pushilin. He believes that this option “would be fair.”
- Leonid Pasechnik announced holidays in schools and colleges of the LPR from September 22 to 28 in connection with the referendum on joining Russia. September 27 is declared a day off in the republic.
What they say in Moscow and Kyiv
- Deputy head of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev called the referendums in the territory of Donbass and other “liberated territories” necessary for the restoration of historical justice. “They [referendums] completely change the vector of Russia's development for decades. And not only our country. Since after their implementation and the acceptance of new territories into Russia, the geopolitical transformation in the world will become irreversible,— wrote Medvedev.
- Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin promised that the House would support the decision to join the DPR and LPR to Russia, if it is adopted. According to him, Moscow expects free expression of will from the inhabitants of the republics.
- Secretary of the General Council of “United Russia” Andrei Turchak said that a referendum on the annexation of Donbass and other regions controlled by Russia is long overdue and the status of these territories must be legally fixed. «De facto Donbass and liberated territories— already Russia»,— Turchak is quoted by the press service of the party in the Telegram.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that referendums on joining Russia in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions would not change anything for Kyiv. “Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will liberate them, no matter what they say in Russia,” — wrote Kuleba on Twitter.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the referendum announcements. “Discussed Current Security Issues,” — wrote Zelensky on Twitter.
Kyiv, commenting on the plans of the military-civilian administrations to hold referendums on joining Russia, said that their organization would be the basis for Ukraine to withdraw from negotiations on the settlement of the conflict with Russia. In early September, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk announced that Ukrainians would face a prison term for participating in referendums. “If collaboration is proven, or, for example, participation in a referendum, or inducement to participate in a referendum, then people can get up to 12 years with confiscation,” — she said.
- The first foreign leader to respond to the initiative to vote was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He stated that holding referendums on the territory of the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions is contrary to international law and Germany does not recognize them.
- French President Emmanuel Macron said that referendums in the Donbass and other regions “will not have legal consequences” and called them a “parody”. “If the idea of referendums weren't so tragic, it would be funny,” — Reuters quotes him as saying.
- The White House said the United States will never recognize Russian claims to any parts of Ukraine.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called “fictitious” referendums on joining Russia in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. According to him, they “have no legitimacy.” “The international community must condemn this egregious violation of international law and step up support for Ukraine,” wrote Stoltenberg on Twitter.
- The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, called on the EU to introduce new sanctions against Russia in connection with the holding of referendums in the Donbass and other territories.
- Polish President Andrzej Duda said that voting in these territories “is worthless”, and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also pointed out that Tallinn does not recognize the results of referendums.
- “I would say that the opinion of Duda and other European talkers on the issue of referendums is worth nothing. That's exactly it, — Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, commented on these statements.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 16 that work continues to achieve the key goals of the military special operation in Ukraine, its plan to change is not subject to. “The main goal is to liberate the entire territory of Donbass. This work continues despite these counter-offensive attempts by the Ukrainian army,— said the president.
On February 24, announcing the start of a military special operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it forced and necessary for “denazification”; and “demilitarization” country, as well as to save its population from genocide. Later, he stated that Russia intends to fulfill all the goals of the operation.
In Ukraine, they called the Russian special operation an attack, introduced martial law and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.
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