Voting for membership in the Russian Federation has started in four oblast of Ukraine:
Russian proxy officials in four regions — Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizka in the south — earlier this week announced plans to hold referendums over four days beginning on Friday. Russia controls nearly all of two of the four regions, Luhansk and Kherson, but only a fraction of the other two, Zaporizka and Donetsk.Ukrainian officials have dismissed the voting as grotesque theater — staging polls in cities laid to waste by Russian forces and abandoned by most residents.
President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Ukraine’s allies for their steadfast support and said “the farce” of “sham referenda” would do nothing to change his nation’s fight to drive Russia from Ukraine.
The Ukrainian regime has resorted to pure terrorism to prevent the votes from happening:
Ukrainian partisans, sometimes working with special operations forces, have blown up warehouses holding ballots and buildings where Russian proxy officials preparing for the vote held meetings. Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that they are engaged in a campaign to assassinate key Russian administration officials; more than a dozen have been blown up, shot and poisoned, according to Ukrainian and Russian officials.
Such behavior by the Zelenski regime against its still Ukrainian compatriots will only encourage the people in the four oblast to vote for an alignment with Russia.
The propaganda in the ‘west’ will declare that the vote is irregular and that the results, likely to be pro-Russian, will be fake.
But a view on historic election outcomes since Ukrainian independence in 1991 show clear geographic preferences in east and south Ukraine for pro-Russian policies:
The graphic above is from research published by the Eurasian Research Institute of the International Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University. Its author writes:
As we can see, the have always been a clear-cut geographical split in the way the regions of Ukraine vote for particular candidates. The East and West division or also referred as Southeast and Northwest division was always present throughout the electoral history of the independent Ukraine. It is conventionally believed that the eastern part of Ukraine is more influenced by Russia politically, economically and culturally. Therefore, the presidential candidates proposing more pro-Russian agenda usually gain much more political support in eastern regions than in other parts of Ukraine. On the other hand, the western part of the country has traditionally been more pro-European with strong reference to traditional core Ukrainian ethnic traditions and values. Consequently, presidential candidates with pro-European political agenda and traditional Ukrainian appeal usually had strong support in western regions of the country. It is interesting to note that preferences of the electorate were not related to the geographical origin or background of the presidential candidates and any candidate could easily become popular in the east as well as in the west. Moreover, the same candidate could be both pro-eastern and pro-western in different periods of time as did Leonid Kuchma in 1994 and 1999, who is the only Ukrainian president to serve two consecutive terms from 1994 to 2005.
The division is consistent with ethnic and linguistic differences between those parts of Ukraine.
In 2014, after the violent fascist coup in Kiev, one of the first laws implemented by the new government removed the Russian language from official use. Instead of overcoming the differences between its people it only sealed the predominant split in Ukraine.
The election promise of the current Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenski to make peace with the Russia aligned rebellious Donbas region by adhering to the Minsk 2 agreements was rewarded with a large share of southeastern votes for his presidency. However, after having been threatened with death by fascists, Zelenski has made a 180 degree turn and has since posed as Ukrainian nationalist. In consequence he has lost all support in southeastern Ukraine.
The southeastern parts of today’s Ukraine have for centuries been part of the central Russian empire. They were only attached to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine under Lenin’s rule in 1922 and, in the case of Crimea, in 1954 under Nikita Khrushchev who himself had grown up in the Donbas region.
A likely high turnout and majority vote for membership in the Russian Federation will only correct the historic misalignment created by those illogical transfers.