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Sun Nov 2, 2014, 02:15 PM

 

Ukraine Rebels Voting in Controversial Election

Source: Voice of America

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are voting Sunday in controversial elections that Kyiv and the West say they will not recognize.

The separatists who control parts of eastern Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions are holding elections for leadership and legislative bodies in the areas they control.

<snip>

The election in eastern Ukraine comes a week after parliamentary elections were held throughout the remainder of Ukraine, with candidates favoring closer ties with other European countries winning a significant plurality of the seats. People living in the east did not vote in the October 26 balloting.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have called the rebel vote illegal, saying it violates Ukraine's constitution and the cease-fire agreement reached September 5 between separatists and Ukraine's government. Russia has said it will recognize the results of the separatist elections. EU leaders have urged Russia to ignore those results.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.voanews.com/content/ukraine/2504946.html



VOA's language is a little tendentious. I think it's residents of the region voting, not "pro-Russian separatists." We shall see, I guess.

Meanwhile, the article also reports claims of a convoy of Russian vehicles entering the region. The Ukraine military reports "intensive movement" of the convoy into Ukraine, but VOA notes that it's not clear "whether they were no or existing forces in the rebel-held region." For what it's worth, I listened to an RT reporter scoff at the claims of Russian military vehicles going to Ukraine this morning.

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Reply Ukraine Rebels Voting in Controversial Election (Original post)
Comrade Grumpy Nov 2014 OP
Igel Nov 2014 #1
amandabeech Nov 2014 #3
Duckhunter935 Nov 2014 #2
davidpdx Nov 2014 #5
geek tragedy Nov 2014 #4

Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 02:39 PM

1. Yes and no.

Russia's organized elections on its territory for the DNR/LNR. But if you fled not to Russia, you don't get a chance to vote.

There are a lot of irregularities. Voting age was reduced. Any fighter can vote--this includes fighters from Kharkov who aren't locals, and fighters who aren't Ukrainians.

In some areas it was announced that you'd get your social services card after voting, courtesy of the DNR (or LNR). In other places they hand out food when you vote. It's not a secret ballot.

You don't have to vote in the district you're registered in (with no cross-checking since it's all on paper, and nobody's going to cross-check hundreds of thousands of votes).

Russia, however, hasn't noted any. (Then again, in my classes a lot of students don't take notes, so it's not a particularly Russian habit to ignore the obvious when it's convenient.)

A number of parties were disqualified. A number of parties were granted waivers for qualifying.

The dates aren't as agreed. The laws aren't as agreed. And, yes, there are various Russian convoys. Reports are of fresh Russian troops, Grad batteries, columns of armored vehicles. These things happen. Sometimes they presage an escalation of hostilities--which is saying something considering the number of dead during this "ceasefire" a la russe. Sometimes they're just for show--why would you vote for a loser, but if you want pro-Russian votes then managing to get an influx of Russian troops shows you got balls, which is something many older Russian women lusting for the freedom and liberty of the USSR when times were good really want. Dvoechniki.

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Response to Igel (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 05:42 PM

3. AFP, AP and BBC are all reporting convoys of unmarked vehicles, including Grads, moving

 

into eastern Ukraine.

Your summary of the election conditions in eastern Ukraine are very reminiscent of those in Crimea.

It sound like there will be another military offensive, probably moving to enlarge the Donetsk and Luhansk pockets and then to move south from there and east from Russia to grab the port of Mariupol and on to the land bridge to Crimea. My understanding is that the waters of the Sea of Azov and of the Black Sea in general freeze in the winter, thus cutting Crimea off from supplies from Russia.

Putin may be feeling quite angry since the sanctions are starting to hurt and the price of oil is $20 below the level he needs to keep his foreign exchange afloat. He will probably mess around with the gas supply somehow to get not only Ukraine, but also Germany and other western and southern European nations to reject requests from Kiev for aid.

The questions will be how long the Europeans will hold out since the sanctions are hurting some of them, too, and how much we will help.

Of note is the fact that Poland is now strengthening its military presence in its southeastern border with Ukraine. It's difficult to tell whether Poland is expecting Russians or Ukrainian refugees.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 03:03 PM

2. just a matter of time

 

till this new "elected" government formally asks for Russian military assistance and then Russia can just put the plates on the vehicles and patches on the troops already there to make an attempt to be legitimate. It does seem more military convoys have shown up lately with nice new equipment to support the separatists. It also helps to give someone food after a person votes.

I think Ukraine should let those areas loose and cut all ties but the pro-Russians will still will attack the airport, port and power-plant as these are vital and they will continue to break the signed agreement and cease fire for that also. Just like they broke the Minsk signed agreement for this vote.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:43 AM

5. The problem with cutting them loose

and letting Russia absorb them is that it would move the border closer to Kiev. What's to say that Russia decides they want the whole ball of wax? They keep making similar claims (they are being threatened by NATO, ethnic Russians are being mistreated, etc.) about what is happening in what is left of Ukraine and it starts over again.

Apparently this time instead of using the ballot boxes as trash cans, they've decided to rig the local election to suit their own needs.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 11:36 PM

4. The evil empire's slow motion land grab continues. nt

 

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