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Russian occupation authorities offer money to pensioners in occupied Ukraine for votes in Russian elections

In the upcoming Russian presidential elections, occupation forces are offering pensioners in occupied territories of Ukraine 5,000 rubles ($55) for their votes, aiming to boost turnout, Ukraine’s National Resistance Center reported.
Russian presidential election.
An elderly resident of Novosibirsk votes at home during the Russian presidential election. Credit: TASS
Russian occupation authorities offer money to pensioners in occupied Ukraine for votes in Russian elections

In the upcoming Russian presidential elections, scheduled for March 15-17, the occupying authorities are engaging in tactics to boost turnout in the occupied territories of Ukraine, particularly of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson oblast, and Crimea, Ukraine’s National Resistance Center (NRC) reported.

According to NRC, representatives of the occupation authorities are visiting the homes of pensioners in these areas, offering them “humanitarian aid” in the form of 5,000 rubles ($55) on the condition that they fill out a ballot. Notably, possession of a Russian passport is not a requirement for voting.

“You сan’t hold elections in someone else’s country”: Why Russia’s “voting” in occupied Ukraine is a sham

This strategy appears to be aimed at creating the impression that the residents of the occupied Ukrainian territories support both the occupation and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The offer of money to pensioners is seen as an incentive to participate in the elections, which are illegal in the occupied territories of Ukraine

“Regarding the pseudo-elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, we consider this action an information-psychological operation. This operation has nothing in common with elections, neither in the past nor this year,” Shmyhal stated, during a press conference in Kyiv on 4 March.

The Prime Minister emphasized that there would be neither observers nor the possibility for people to freely express their opinions.

“I am confident that the world will not recognize either the results or the very fact of conducting such pseudo-elections. We urge all partners to criticize and object against such information special operations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” Shmyhal added.

In February, Ukraine’s Ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, called on the international community to firmly condemn the illegal elections in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine and not to recognize their “results.”

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