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Elections for the State Duma of the Russian Federation: Voting in the occupied Crimea, the reaction of Turkey and the EU

In Russia, the preliminary results of the elections to the State Duma that had lasted from 17 to 19 September were announced. The residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea also had the opportunity to cast their votes. This year, the residents of ORDLO (the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine) with Russian passports were involved in the voting process for the first time.

Results of elections for the RF State Duma

According to preliminary data, Russia's ruling party United Russia won a constitutional majority with 50% of the vote. The Communists (CPRF) gained 19%. The results did not come as a surprise, although before the elections, sociologists had noted the historically minimal popularity of United Russia.

How the occupied Crimea voted

According to the official data of the so-called Crimean Central Election Commission, the ruling party United Russia gained only 63.3% of the votes. It is followed by the Communists (CPRF) with almost 9.2% and the LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) with 7.75% of the votes. Over the past five years, United Russia has somewhat lost its popularity in the occupied peninsula, the outlet Crimea.Realities reports. The voting turnout was less than 50%.

The main feature of the Russian elections in the occupied Crimea was the complete absence of a Crimean Tatar candidate with a chance to win the election. This is the first time since the annexation.

How Donbas voted

For the first time, residents of ORDLO were involved in participating in the Russian elections for the State Duma. According to official estimates of the Russian authorities, only about 200,000 residents of Donbas voted during three days. The turnout was 98%.

They could cast their votes either via online voting, or go to the Rostov region free of charge to express their will in the traditional way. Persons who did not want to participate in the elections at all were obliged to write explanatory notes. They were threatened with sanctions. For those who volunteered to vote, the Russian authorities haв the foresight to prepare dry rations.

Turkey does not recognize elections for the RF State Duma in Crimea

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey stated that the Russian elections in the occupied Crimea for Ankara were null and void.

"Turkey maintains its support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea. Accordingly, the results of the elections for the RF State Duma, also held in Crimea from 17 to 19 September 2021, insofar as they relate to Crimea, have no legal validity for Turkey," the Ministry stated.

EU refuses to recognize Russian elections in occupied Crimea

Peter Stano, EU Spokesperson, stated that the EU "will never recognize elections in the illegally annexed Crimea, because Crimea is Ukraine."

"We are also concerned about the fact that the citizens of Ukraine and the population of the territories of Ukraine in the East, that are currently outside the control of the legitimate government of Ukraine, obtained (from Russia—ed. note) passports to participate in these Russian elections. This is contrary to the spirit of the Minsk Agreements, it is contrary to the goals of the Minsk Agreements. We call on Russia and expect that Russia will refrain from actions that are contrary to the obligations emanating from the Minsk Agreements," Ukrinform quoted him as saying.

Context. On September 16, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution calling on Brussels not to recognize the result of the Russian elections, and later the newly elected Russian parliament.

On September 17, Ukraine protested against organizing the Russian elections in Crimea, as well as the forced involvement of residents of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On the same day, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) imposed sanctions against 33 candidates from Crimea and Donbas to the Russian State Duma.

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