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Ukraine’s MFA urges media not to call Russia’s “farce” as “elections”; over 55 countries condemn vote in occupied areas

Ukraine urged not using “elections” for Russia’s events, as Ukraine and over 55 countries denounced the voting in Russian-occupied Ukrainian areas as invalid and illegitimate.
Russia’s “presidential elections” in occupied Donetsk, with the “voting” taking place outdoors. Source.
Ukraine’s MFA urges media not to call Russia’s “farce” as “elections”; over 55 countries condemn vote in occupied areas

The Ukrainian Ministry for Foreign Affairs has urged the media to refrain from referring to the events in Russia as “elections” to avoid lending credibility to what they consider a sham electoral process orchestrated by the Kremlin. This statement was made in a post on the social media platform X, as reported by Ukrinform.

“Media is about reporting facts. Today, more than ever, it is vital not to assist the Kremlin in creating the illusion of an electoral process and to refrain from referring to this farce as “elections” in the language of democratic states,” the MFA stated.

  • The Kremlin conducted its sham elections in Russia and in occupied territories of Ukraine from 15-17 March.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that these so-called elections lack legitimacy.
  • On 18 March, the EU Foreign Affairs Council is set to adopt a statement regarding the so-called ‘election’ of the Russian president and will also discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.

“The polls have closed in Russia, following the illegal holding of elections on Ukrainian territory, a lack of choice for voters and no independent OSCE monitoring,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron commented on X yesterday.

Ukraine, other UN members condemn Russia’s voting in occupied territories

Ukraine, supported by over 55 countries at the United Nations on 15 March, condemned Russia’s attempts to organize elections on occupied Ukrainian territory, declaring them invalid, according to Voice of America.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s illegitimate attempts to organize Russian presidential elections in temporarily occupied areas within the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine,” the group said in a statement read by Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, “flanked by his counterparts.”

Kyslytsya emphasized that conducting elections in the territory of another UN member state without its consent blatantly disregards the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and under international law, such elections are considered invalid.

According to VoA, international observers have deemed the Russian elections neither free nor fair, designed to extend President Vladimir Putin’s tenure by another six years. Ukraine, with the backing of Slovenia, a member of the UN Security Council, has called for a meeting on 15 March to address Russia’s conduct of the vote in Ukrainian territories occupied by Russian forces, including Crimea and the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

VoA reported that Russia’s Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky defended the elections, stating that they were conducted in territories that are administratively, politically, and economically part of Russia, whether others like it or not. Ukraine’s envoy countered by calling the Russian election a “travesty” and highlighted widespread intimidation by local authorities in the occupied areas to force participation in the “sham” election, including threats against life, illegal detention, and deprivation of property, all under duress.

US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield labeled the election a propaganda exercise aimed at reinforcing Russia’s illegitimate claims to parts of Ukraine it has invaded. UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo reminded that as the occupying power, Russia is bound to uphold Ukrainian laws in the occupied territories and noted that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has deemed Russia’s intention to conduct presidential elections in these areas as “unacceptable.”

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