A non-governmental organization (NGO) on Friday denounced Russia’s deployment of “international observers” to monitor the recent elections in the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporijia, calling it a violation of the laws of Ukraine.
The Center for Democratic Integrity (CID) – an NGO that analyzes attempts by authoritarian regimes to politically influence societies – reported that it has identified 34 non-Russian foreigners who were involved by the Kremlin (Russian Presidency) in observing elections in the occupied territories. zones, which took place on September 10.
“By illegally entering Ukrainian territories, all ‘international observers’ have violated Ukrainian laws, and we call on relevant national authorities to inform their citizens of the consequences they may face for their participation in Russian propaganda efforts.” , the CID said in a statement. rack.
The CID acknowledges that it is not possible to determine the exact number of “international observers” involved in the process, but estimates that the Kremlin has organized four groups of up to ten elements in the occupied zones of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporijia . however, indicating that at least 34 elements have been identified.
Last Sunday, September 10, Russia held regional and municipal elections, expanding voting to include the regions it annexed to Ukraine, despite condemnation by Kiev and the majority of the international community.
The voting, which began in some areas on September 8, included the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014, and the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporijia, which were annexed after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Kiev and its allies, namely the European Union (EU) and the United States, believed that the elections in the occupied Ukrainian territories were illegal and would have no legal consequences.
At the time, the EU considered that the elections were “a futile attempt by Russia to legitimize or normalize its illegal military control (…) over parts of Ukrainian territories”, and concluded that it would not review the same election consultations or their results acknowledge. .
The United States, for its part, called the “sham elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine “merely a propaganda exercise,” and stated that it “will never recognize the claims of the Russian Federation to any sovereign territory of Ukraine.”