Regional elections

Kyiv condemns Russian ‘sham elections’ in occupied Ukrainian territories

Kyiv condemns Russian ‘sham elections’ in occupied Ukrainian territories
A man walks past a ballot box with the coat of arms of Russia during early voting for the local elections in Mariupol, Russian-controlled Ukraine, 31 August 2023. Elections of various levels will be held in Russia on 10 September 2023, including by-elections of deputies to the State Duma, elections of heads of 26 constituent entities of the federation, and elections of deputies of legislative bodies of state power in 16 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The Central Election Commission of Russia has scheduled elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions on a Single Voting Day on 10 September. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

KYIV, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Ukraine's foreign ministry condemned "sham elections" being staged by Russia in occupied Ukrainian territories on Friday, saying they were "worthless" and would have no legal standing.

Russia is holding regional elections, including in four Ukrainian regions that it does not fully control – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

The ministry said in a statement that the elections taking place on Ukrainian territory “grossly violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” as well as international law.

“Russia’s sham elections in the temporarily occupied territories are null and void. They will not have any legal consequences and will not lead to a change in the status of the Ukrainian territories captured by the Russian army,” it said.

Kyiv called on its international partners to denounce the votes and not to recognise the results.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday also described the voting in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine as “sham elections” and said they were “illegitimate”.

The Russian embassy in the U.S. responded by saying on Friday that Washington was meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.

(Reporting by Olena Harmash, additional reporting by Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Timothy Heritage)


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