Russia may try to drag occupied Donbas residents with Russian passports into voting
Ukraine’s envoy to the UN earlier stated that Russia had issued more than 200,000 passports Ukrainians living in the occupied part of Donbas. REUTERS
Given the large number of Russian citizens living in Donbas, the question of their participation in the vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution should be addressed to the CEC of the Russian Federation, says Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary for the Russian president.
“Indeed, there are a lot of Russian citizens living there [in Donbas]. This is a question that needs to be addressed to the CEC because it is they who are involved in the process of organizing the voting among Russian citizens,” Peskov said, responding to an UNIAN correspondent’s question.
Earlier, the head of the Fair Russia faction in the State Duma, Sergei Mironov, suggested that Russian authorities provide residents of the occupied Donbas who had acquired Russian citizenship with the opportunity to vote on the issue of amending the Russian Constitution.
Read also Russian passports issued to orphans in occupied Donbas
“Citizens of the Russian Federation living in Donbas should be able to take part in the popular vote on amendments to the Constitution.
This is our duty as Russians, our duty to ourselves, and to our homeland,” Mironov said. According to him, after President Putin signed the relevant decree, some 230,000 people living in the occupied territories of Donbas acquired Russian citizenship.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 24, 2019, Putin signed a decree, streamlining the receipt of Russian passports by residents of the temporarily occupied Donbas.
In February 2020, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Serhiy Kyslytsia, stated that Russia had issued more than 200,000 passports to Ukrainians living in the occupied part of Donbas. The vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution has been scheduled for July 1. These changes provide for the reset of the count of Putin’s presidential terms, which enables him to run for another two terms after 2024.