Russia held «elections» in the occupied territories of Ukraine Ukrainian territories

On September 8-10, the Russian authorities held so-called elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine as part of the «single day of voting». The European Union called the elections «another gross violation of international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty».

The German Foreign Ministry said that the election was an «imitation of the election». And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assured that Washington would never recognize Russia’s claims to any sovereign territory of Ukraine, and sanctions would be imposed on those who would support such an «illegitimate vote».

On September 8, Russia was sharply criticized at a UN Security Council meeting for holding illegal elections in Ukraine’s occupied territories. The EU permanent representative to the UN, Olof Skoog, said that everyone, including the political leadership of the Russian Federation and all those involved in organizing the so-called election, would be held accountable.

Russia’s «elections» were accompanied by violations and falsifications. The Russian authorities had to extend the voting period in order to ensure the necessary «turnout», as they realized that they would not be able to «draw» the minimum required votes in three days. In addition to regular polling stations, as during the fake referendum last year, there were also «mobile voting centers»: people with armed escorts went to people’s homes or directly through the streets of cities occupied by the Russian Federation with ballot boxes and ballots.

Forced «passportization» and forcing citizens to participate in so-called elections at gunpoint violate the UN Declaration, the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They also violate the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. On this basis, any elected body of the Russian Federation whose elections were held on the territory of Ukraine occupied by the Russian armed forces cannot be called legitimate.

The manner of behavior of the aggressor state in the international arena and the crimes against humanity committed by its armed forces in Ukraine over the past 9 years clearly demonstrate that Russia completely ignores not only the laws and customs of warfare, but also the generally accepted norms and rules of coexistence in the civilized world. In this regard, the Russian leadership must constantly feel the firmness, steadfastness and consistency of the positions of the leading countries of the world. The imposition of tougher sanctions and the creation of a regime of maximum international isolation will be a tangible response to the insignificant, from a legal point of view, Russian elections in the territories of Ukraine, which are now occupied by the aggressor State.