Russians force Kherson Oblast residents to participate in sham referendum

23 September, 09:06 PM
Kherson, Ukraine (Photo:Kherson City Council)

Kherson, Ukraine (Photo:Kherson City Council)

Russia uses violent methods to force people to participate in its fake referendums, Kherson Regional Councilmember Serhii Khlan told Radio NV on Sept. 23.

“This morning, the polling stations opened up and began to spread information through their propaganda media about the allegedly large queues of people,” the councilman said.

“But, as people report, there is absolutely no one there, and the polling stations are completely empty.”

According to him, local residents are trying to maintain communications and convey messages about the course of events, distributing photos of the reportedly empty stations. But the Russian occupation authorities are resorting to force to fill the stations up, Khlan said.

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“The invaders are now creating two checkpoints at the polling stations,” he said.

“One point is reinforced with Russian troops, and they go around checking people from the electoral rolls. The rolls includes residents who have never turned to the invaders for the so-called financial aid of 10,000 rubles, or haven’t applied for a Russian passport.”

He also expressed the hope that people will be able to avoid participation in the pseudo-referendum, and added that it is much easier to avoid risks in cities than in villages:

“In the villages, the situation is more complicated, because, unfortunately, collaborators and traitors operate everywhere there,” he said.

“They have information about who is at home, so they will break into their homes...to force themto vote.”

Those who refuse to vote may be detained, Khlan noted.

“Perhaps not today, but definitely after Sept. 27 there will be detentions,” he said.

“It is best for our people to hide, to sit out somewhere for these four days.”

On Sept. 23, in the occupied territories of several oblasts of Ukraine - Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson - Russia is attempting to hold sham “referendums”, with pre-deter-mined outcomes, in order to legitimize their annexation of these territories. However, none of these oblasts are fully under Russian control.

Ukraine and the vast majority of Western countries have declared that the results of pseudo-referendums will not be recognized. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted that the holding of a “vote” and the proclaimed annexation of Ukrainian territories would not affect the process oftheir liberation by the efforts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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