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13.05.2014

Chronicle of Russian Aggression

   

Russia has leapt in to effectively recognize the pseudo-referendums of May 11, with the self-declared ‘republics’ in no less haste to announce that they want to join Russia.

On May 13, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement effectively recognizing the pseudo-referendums held in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions the day before.

The statement repeated the line which Kremlin-supported Russian media had taken on Sunday, saying that the will of “the residents of the said regions had been expressed through an extremely active turnout”.  This was, it claimed, in spite of efforts by the Kyiv authorities to disrupt the voting including through the use of heavy artillery and ‘radical nationalists’ leading to casualties.

“The preliminary results of the vote count convincingly show the real wish of citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to have the right to independently take decisions on issues concerning vitally important problems for them”.

The dishonesty is staggering

It is impossible to assess the turnout since:

there were no voters lists and no independent observers;

Ukrainian media representatives were prevented from even filming the vote;

people were able to vote without providing proper identification meaning that they were also able to ‘vote’ many times;

this could not be called ascertaining the will of residents of the relevant regions since not living in the area was also not an impediment to voting;

you could ‘vote’ for members of your family with fictitious addresses and passport numbers recorded.

The above are just some of the extraordinary aspects of these so-called referendums recorded by the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] and journalists.

Moscow’s Foreign Ministry has ignored all of them and given its stamp of approval on events which have been roundly condemned by election watchdogs, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission and democratic countries. 

Its backing for the ‘referendums’ is thus quite clear.  So too is Vladimir Putin’s dishonesty in promising to remove troops from Ukraine’s borders and supposed call on the pro-Russian militants to postpone the referendums.

The statement demands ‘dialogue’ on Ukraine’s future form of government, etc.  The official line is thus that Moscow is again trying to force ‘federalization’, no more.

This may or may not be true.  Both self-declared republics were just as much in a hurry on Monday to announce plans for ‘joining Russia’.

Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ tweeted that he had asked Russia to consider the DPR’s request to join Russia as federal subject.

‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ 

The organizers of Sunday’s vote claimed 96% support for independent status, and also speeded to call for Luhansk region to join Russia.

The upbeat noises were made as the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] a statement that there were no grounds for considering the ‘referendum’ on May 11 as having reflected the wishes of Luhansk residents. 

Halya Coynash

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