The Russian electoral commission said on Tuesday that the “yes” was imposed in the “referendums” on the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, according to the preliminary results of the voting centers on Russian territory, according to Russian agencies.
The commission stated that the “yes” vote obtained between 97 and 98% of the votes after the counting of between 20 and 27% of the ballots in the voting centers in Russia, while the counting began in the Ukrainian regions under control of Moscow, indicated the Ria Novosti, Tass and Interfax agencies.
The electoral commission had opened polling stations on Russian territory for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who took refuge in Russia to escape the fighting in Ukraine.
The four Ukrainian regions concerned by the Russian annexation referendums are Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson, under Moscow control.
Addressing the Russian press, the head of the occupying administration of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, already claimed the victory of the “yes” in this vote organized since September 23, in the presence of Russian troops and despite the bombing.
“It is clear that an overwhelming majority of people have supported Ukraine’s exit and union with Russia,” Saldo said, referring to the area under his control.
For his part, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, minimized the value of these referendums.
“Nothing will change in our policy, our diplomacy or our actions in the military field,” the minister told a news conference in kyiv together with his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna.
In Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, electoral offices were also opened for refugees from the Donetsk region, partially controlled by Moscow and its pro-Russian separatist allies.
“With my vote I want to try to make a small contribution to the end of the war,” Galina Korsakova, 63, told AFP. “I really want to go back to my house,” he added.