So, the authorities of continental Russia and Crimea have confirmed that during the first—the most, so to speak, patriotism-saturated—week, Crimean authorities received only 20,000 applications for Russian passports.
In fact, it appears that this figure allows us to figure out the real number of voters in the referendum.
Judge for yourselves how paltry that number is. There are 27 territorial units (raions) in Crimea. This means that only 740 people in each of them have filed a passport application this week. Take just one raion—for example, Leninskiy (with which I am familiar; I vacationed there often). There are 67 villages and towns in the Leninskiy rayon.
This means that, on average, only 11 people in each village and town of this raion have applied for passports over the course of the week (fewer than two people per day). Out of hundreds, tens of thousands. The Leninskiy raion, for example, has 69,629 inhabitants.
One must agree that such pitiful figures do not justify ‘long lines,’ as some Crimean PR experts are trying to point out on Twitter. It is more likely that the statistical data on the Russian passports allow us to estimate the actual number of voters in the so-called ‘referendum.’ And this number is catastrophically small.
No wonder the Russian authorities have already threatened to issue passports automatically.
Translated by Svitlana Guslak, edited by Robin Rohrback