Today, it would be best for the residents of Kherson not to open the doors, said Yury Sobolevskyi, the Ukrainian mayor of the Kherson Oblast Council, on the Telegram platform.
According to Serhii Hajday, head of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, people are forced to float pieces of pepper without privacy in the kitchens and in the yards of residential houses, while the cities are closed so that they cannot leave and avoid the polls, Reuters wrote.
In the city of Starobilsk, pro-Russian forces and doter forbade residents to leave the city and sent armed groups to search houses and force people to support the referendum, Hajdaj said.
Voting took place in the self-proclaimed pro-Russian Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and in the Russian-occupied Khersonsk and Zporosk regions.
Residents of different parts of Ukraine who are now in Russia can also cast their vote, but according to Russian Internet sources, there is confusion about where they can cast their vote. The plebiscite should last five days.
For the first three days, election commissions will visit the homes of local residents, the independent server Meduza and the Russian-language BBC website described. According to them, the polling stations will be opened on the last day. The Occupied Ady explained this decision by fearing for the safety of the residents, many of whom will have to vote in settlements located near the front lines.
In the DNR and LNR, the ballot papers according to the copper have a single question whether to join the Russian Federation, which can be answered yes or no. In Khersonsk and Zporosk regions, the questions can be answered whether the voter is in favor of secession from Ukraine, the creation of an independent state, and joining the Russian Federation.
The Russian agency TASS reported on Friday that the referendum in the DNR was not attended by a press observer, but there is no independent international observer among them.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is monitoring the election process, said that the results would not be valid from the first point of view, because they are contrary to Ukrainian laws and international first, take place in areas where there is no security and do not celebrate they were not hung by an observer.
Kyiv and its fallen allies immediately declared the referendum a fraud. Their representative stated that they do not recognize the results, consider them only a step by Moscow to illegally annex another Ukrainian land.
According to Mykhailo Podoljak, an advisor to the Ukrainian presidential office, this is not a legal referendum, but just a propaganda show for mobilization.
Russia claims that the referendums are an opportunity for the residents of the region to express their views. It is widely believed that the official results support the annexation to Russia. According to CNN, Hajdaj declared on Friday that Russia will calculate the result, which will be beneficial for him. The population pattern does not matter, he said.
In the meantime, the Ukrainian agency Unian wrote that pro-Russian forces brought a crowd from the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, to the occupied Melitopol in the Zporosk region to film propaganda clips and rally the population’s support for the referendum on joining Russia.
She pointedly referred to the city’s exiled mayor, Ivan Fedorov, according to whom the occupiers filmed a report a few days ago, the people were out in the streets expressing support for Russia, they spoke with an accent and were not from Melitopol. In addition, according to Fedorov, first of all, it appears that residents of Melitopol do not open their apartments to common people and do not respond to their calls. This will confirm that this referendum is a fraud, said Fedorov.
The Kremlin has carried out a series of actions in the Ukrainian lands under its control, which arouse deep skepticism about the fall of the legitimacy of the polls, Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) wrote on its website. Moscow will issue Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the DNR and LNR this summer.
Since the beginning of the invasion, the Kremlin, according to western estimates, has deported about 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens to Russia, and directly delivered buses of Russian citizens to Ukrainian land, via stations. Moscow also captured the personal and biometric data of hundreds of Ukrainians in the so-called filtering camps, which it built after the invasion, which experts say opens up space for manipulation of voting slips.
Russia has only a short history of free and fair elections, on the contrary, there are, for example, false voting tricks and voters are intimidated, noted RFE/RL.