Donetsk: 2 Million Paper Ballots

The preliminary results are in on the Donetsk referendum:

Roman Lyagin, election chief of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, said around 75 percent of the Donetsk region’s 3 million or so eligible voters cast ballots, and the vast majority backed self-rule.

With no international election monitors in place, it was all but impossible to verify the insurgents’ claims. The preliminary vote count was announced just two hours after the polls closed in an election conducted via paper ballots.

75 percent of 3 million people comes out to be more than 2.2 million votes cast  in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

There isn’t much more to say on the matter until they “count” the “2.2 million” ballots but Carl Bilt, the foreign minister of Sweden said it best:

Prior to the twin referendums this weekend in Donetsk and Luhansk, leaders in the US & Europe labeled the vote “illegal” and said they would not recognize the results as valid. Even Vladimir Putin called for the referendums to be postponed, expressing what the Washington Post called “qualified support” for the planned May 25 Ukrainian presidential elections.

Putin said a presidential election would be “a movement in the right direction, but only if all citizens of Ukraine understand that their rights are guaranteed.’’

Whatever the “official” results of the votes in eastern Ukraine are, it will earn the Donetsk People’s Republic nothing on the international stage.

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