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Putin Lies: Russia Celebrates 99% Support In “Sham” Ukraine Referendums

Putin Russia
Russian President Putin testing a new sniper rifle. Image Credit: Russian State Media.

Voting has concluded in four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, where what’s left of the local population were asked in illegal and unofficial referendums whether they want their territories to be absorbed into the Russian Federation.

The votes took place in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and involved Russian soldiers going door-to-door to ask residents whether they want to remain under the control of Kyiv.

The results, unsurprisingly, showed overwhelming support for the Kremlin and have now given Russian President Vladimir Putin the justification he needs to illegally annex any part of these territories his military is physically capable of annexing.

What Were the Results in Ukraine?

Russian state media revealed that, after five days of voting, a vast majority of people voted in favor of their region joining the Russian Federation.

In the Donetsk People’s Republic. 97.51% of people voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation.

In the Luhansk People’s Republic, 92.6% of people voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation.

In Zaporizhzhia, 85.4% of people voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation.

And in Kherson, some 76.86% of voters sided with Russia.

Video footage of pro-Russian leaders of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic celebrating was released on Tuesday night. Activists and politicians looked relieved as they hugged and celebrated in front of local media, claiming to have achieved the support of virtually everybody in the contested region.

Other outlets claim that the results were even more strongly in favor of Russia, with over 99% of people in Donetsk voting to join the Russian Federation, and over 98% saying the same in Luhansk.

The figures are startling and significantly higher than similar referendums held in Western Europe in recent years. In 2016, 52% of British voters sided with the country leaving the European Union and 48% of voters preferred to stay a member. In 2014, Scottish voters voted by similar margins to stay a member of the United Kingdom.

Also in 2014, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un claimed to have won 100% of the vote in a parliamentary election.

Results as high as 99% in such contentious referendums rarely, if ever, occur in a fair vote.

The figures were expected to be artificially high given the many millions of Ukrainians who have already fled the country from these four occupied regions. Any pro-Kyiv residents remaining in these regions may have also simply refused to take part in the illegitimate referendums. At the same time, there is no telling how much fraud and misconduct took place to achieve such astronomically high figures.

Similarly high figures were achieved in the 1938 Austrian Anschluss referendum, a vote that was held in German-occupied Austria. After occupying the region in March of that year, ahead of a planned referendum by the Austrian government to assert its sovereignty, German forces held their own referendum and blocked political enemies from taking part. The results showed 99.73% support for Austria to be “reunified” with the German Reich, with a turnout of 99.71%. Communists and socialists were blocked from taking part in the election, as were citizens of Jewish and Roma origin.

Ballots issued to eligible residents in the election were asked:

“Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Reich that was enacted on 13 March 1938 and do you vote for the list of our leader Adolf Hitler?”

The parallels between the two votes are hard to ignore, but the results will undoubtedly be used by the Kremlin to justify the continued military push in Ukraine to Russian citizens. No longer just a vanity project for Russian President Vladimir Putin to rebuild his Russian empire, this dangerous war will be pitched as an effort to rescue the Russian people ruled by a government they overwhelmingly oppose.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 28, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    What a ridiculous sham. The good news is that even most Russians are smart enough to realize this.

  2. Walker

    September 29, 2022 at 3:31 am

    It really doesn’t matter. Everyone knows it is a sham. Just as we all know Russia shot down the Malaysian flight over Ukraine.

    Putin just double downs every time. His only purpose is to use this as an excuse to mobilize. It’s not Russia starting the war, It is nato going after Donbas which is a part of Russia.

    Except his mobilization is doomed to fail too. He can either take time to train the new recruits and in the meantime, Ukraine destroys the remaining Russian army, or he can throw them in to the wolves and hope that the extra bodies slow Ukraine down, which won’t make much difference.

    Russia is missing the equipment to win the war. All that Soviet equipment is garbage and the new stuff was already depleted. It is the effect of Russian corruption that is eating Russia to the very core that is the problem.

    Russia has just one option. That is nuclear weapons. Except they are a weapon of last resort. To be used…. Never. Using them is a sign that Russia already lost. We can only hope that Russia’s military realizes that they can’t be used and refuse to obey orders. Putin must go. Hopefully everyone will realize that soon.

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