On 23–27 September 2022 the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions held referendums on their accession to the Russian Federation. The results of the voting have been tabulated, with the overwhelming majority of voters supporting unification with Russia – 99.23 percent in the DPR, 98.42 percent in the LPR, 93.11 percent in the Zaporozhye Region and 87.05 percent in the Kherson Region. The turnout was as follows: 97.5 percent in the DPR, 92.6 percent in the LPR, 85.4 in the Zaporozhye Region and 76.9 percent in the Kherson Region.
Despite the provocations of the Kiev regime that gave criminal orders to massively shell areas where civilians gather and civilian facilities, people were not afraid to come to the polls and express their will. The results of the plebiscite speak for themselves – the residents of Donbass, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions do not want to return to their former life. They have made a conscious and free choice in favour of Russia.
In fact, they had no alternative left. Far from all people in Ukraine acquiesced and accepted the coup in Kiev in February 2014 that brought to power radical nationalist forces that unleashed a bloody fight against those that would not accept it in the southeast of the country. The signing of the Minsk agreements approved by a UN Security Council resolution did not rescue the situation. As Ukrainian representatives are cynically saying now, Ukraine was never going to honour them from the very start and was preparing for war. For eight years, the population of Donbass was subjected to persistent and cynical attempts to destroy them. The decision of the residents of Donbass, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to seek protection from Russia was a natural result of the inhumane policy pursued by the Kiev regime.
The referendums took place in full conformity with the standards and principles of international law. The people of Donbass and the south of Ukraine exercised their lawful right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter, the 1966 international human rights covenants, the 1975 OCSE Helsinki Final Act, and the verdict of the UN International Court of Justice on Kosovo on July 22, 2010. The latter confirmed that the unilateral proclamation of independence by a part of a state does not violate any norms of international law.
International observers from Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Latvia and other countries (overall, 133 people) monitored the course of the referendums and recognised them as legitimate. We are grateful to foreign experts, bloggers, journalists and representatives of public organisations for their courage, integrity and objectivity.
In the near future, we will enter a critical stage in our joint efforts to translate into life the desire of the residents of the DPR, LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to be together with Russia.