September 8, 2023, 17:39

Cruel puppet theater: Dmytro Lubinets on fake elections and issuing of russian passports in temporarily occupied territories

In temporarily occupied territories, the occupiers restrict the rights of citizens without russian passports. Among other things, forcing russian passports on people became one of the tools enabling the occupiers to hold the so-called elections in temporarily occupied territories. There are examples when citizens were forcibly issued passports and immediately made to vote for the so-called candidates pointed out to them.

“As for the election, I personally call this process a cruel puppet theater. Because this is just for show for the partners, so that the conditions for the continuation of the so-called peace initiatives could allegedly be created.”

Dmytro Lubinets, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, made this statement during a situational press event covering the current situation in the temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine’s East and South in response to the occupiers’ holding fake elections. The country’s main discussion platform BrainHub in Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform hosted the event, which was organized by Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform and Special Operations Forces’ National Resistance Center of Ukraine.

Dmytro Lubinets also pointed out the process of holding the so-called elections in the temporarily occupied territories. In particular, he spoke of an example, when people were targeted by the russian military. According to the Ombudsman, this was an elderly couple who had never applied to any russian agency.

“russian soldiers came to their house, representatives of the so-called election commission were standing next to them. When they left, they were given two russian passports with photos already pasted in. I underline this once again – they had never applied for russian passports. After that, they (the russians – Ed.) immediately came up to them and ordered them to vote at once. What’s more, one of the russian soldiers immediately said “you understand who you will vote for” and pointed with his finger – it was “United russia.” He even stood behind their backs and looked to see if this couple voted “correctly.” They took these so-called ballots and drove on,” said Dmytro Lubinets.

According to the Ombudsman, this situation is a telling example of how the entire procedure of both issuing passports in the temporarily occupied territories and the process of holding the so-called elections is held.

In addition, when commenting on forced issuing of passports in temporarily occupied territories, the Human Rights Commissioner noted how the occupiers limit the rights of citizens.

“You don’t get anything, you can’t be employed, you can’t leave, your property can and is taken away, your business is taken away. Either you leave, and you can leave only to the territory of the russian federation – or you get a passport. And the last stage is mobilization. All men are immediately put on the military register, including women who fall under the definition of the so-called military professions – these are doctors, they are primarily interested in doctors,” said Dmytro Lubinets.

BrainHub is the country’s main discussion platform created by Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. It brings together experts from the state and civil society sectors. BrainHub hosts intellectual discussions around the issues of the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. It’s the birthplace of the best ideas that will become the foundation for the road map of Ukraine’s reconstruction in all sectors: economy, infrastructure, e

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