‘Referendum’ turnout: 10% of voters

Expert: majority in Donetsk Oblast stand for united Ukraine

On May 11th, a carnival of ‘referendums’ took place in Donbas. Citizens were polled on whether they supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, would like to join Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, or even to associate with Great Britain. The ‘plebiscite’ held by representatives of the so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk garnered the most publicity. There was only one question on the ballot: “Do you support the Act of State Self-Rule of the People’s Republic of Donetsk?”

The separatists’ ‘people’s referendum’ took place in school buildings, local houses of culture, and tents right in the streets. There were queues at some of the ‘polling stations’, mostly of elderly people. The main reason for the crowding was in fact the lack of places to vote. Voter lists were absent at some of the ‘stations’. Sometimes people were registered on the spot upon showing their passports, and sometimes simply upon oral requests. Some Donetsk citizens voted more than once. Continue reading

Why did Putin defer the separatist “referendum”?

1395936165_putin_373x300Putin’s call to postpone the separatist referendum until a later date is a tactic to legalize the division of Ukraine on the day of the presidential elections.

Putin’s appeal to the separatists has as its goal the legalization of the referendum on the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” by holding it on the same day as the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25. Continue reading