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A referendum in eastern Ukraine, a little rigged?

The referendum in eastern Ukraine does not seem to meet the minimum requirements for Europeans in elections where there are international observers (here - the mission in Kosovo - credit: European Commission)
The referendum in Eastern Ukraine does not seem to meet the minimum required by the Europeans in elections where international observers exist (here – the mission in Kosovo – credit: European Commission)

(BRUSSELS2) According to a report carried out by members of the Delegation of the European Union in kyiv, there are a series of facts which tend to believe that the “referendum” in Donetsk and in eastern Ukraine (the Donbass region) not only has no legitimacy but is also “predicted”.

European diplomats thus rely on a certain number of “objective” elements: 1) the printing of ballot papers, easily falsifiable, or even already pre-filled, 2) the presence of armed people in front of and even inside the polling stations, 3) the absence of representatives of the Ukrainian state, 4) the ban on journalists from filming inside the polls – especially when they are empty, 5) the truncated presentation of “files ” in front of the offices quite simply because only one or only two voting points are open, 6) the atmosphere aimed at minimizing or even terrorizing those who dare to appear as supporters of remaining in Ukraine etc.

Here is the statement of facts (in English) transmitted by the spokesperson of the EU delegation in Kyiv

  • – ballot papers printed on normal printers;
  • – “results” are known an advance (example: Ukrainian law-enforcing agencies confiscated recently 100000 pre-filled ballot papers near Sloviansk;
  • – presence of unknown gunmen in front or even inside polling stations;
  • – these are not legal representatives of Ukrainian state;
  • – journalists are not allowed to film and take photo inside polling stations, especially if these are empty;
  • – queues are indeed present in some cities, but it is due to the fact that only one or very few stations were opened in that town. Then, all voters have to queue in front of it;
  • – these pictures of queues are very actively promoted by Russian state media;
  • – according to public opinion polls, around 70% of inhabitants of Eastern Ukraine want to preserve a single state;
  • – There is a terror applied towards those, who actively voice pro-Ukrainian views. These people are killed, kidnapped so as a result, many of them are already leaving these two regions (Luhansk and Donetsk).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).