- BBC News World
Voting in various referendums on the annexation of the Ukrainian territories of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia in the east of the country began as a surprise on Friday, according to local media reports.
This process, which is rejected not only by the government of Ukraine, but also by a large part of the countries that condemn the Russian invasion of this country, It will run until September 27.
The Russian government, in a statement, through the head of the Russian electoral bodies, made it clear that it would provide all necessary support to the residents of the “liberated” areas so that they could participate in this process.
“All the members of the electoral commissions, more than 5,000 people, have started their work,” Galina Katyusenko, head of the electoral commission set up in the Zaporizhia region, told Interfax.
Katyushenko explained that due to security measures during the first four days of voting, citizens of these regions can vote from their homes or in private places and that only the voter is himself. On September 27, the usual polling stations will open..
Despite Russia’s support for the two referendums, its army, according to military experts, occupies just over half of the Donetsk and Zaporizhia regions.
Although it completely controls the Luganks and Kherson regions.
For its part, the Ukrainian government, which strongly refuses to hold these referendums, accused the Russian forces of manipulating the voters in the occupied territories.
These voices were also heavily criticized by many leaders in the West. US President Joe Biden called the referendums “false” during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly and accused Russia of “wanting to end Ukraine’s right to exist as a state”.
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