Kyiv warns Ukrainians: Don't take part in fake Russian elections in occupied territories

Kyiv warns Ukrainians: Don’t take part in fake Russian elections in occupied territories

The Kremlin is planning to consolidate its influence in occupied territories of Ukraine by staging sham elections that President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party is expected to dominate, British officials said Tuesday.

Early voting has already begun in Zaporizhzhia and Mariupol, and the bogus elections are expected to conclude by Sunday.

But there is a lack of qualified and experienced candidates who are willing to voluntarily add their names to the ballots, U.K. intelligence officials said in their latest assessment of the battlefield conditions in Ukraine.

“There is also an absence of independent candidates that are not members of the Kremlin-endorsed parties, indicating that these will not be free or fair elections,” British officials said Tuesday on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The ‘United Russia’ party will likely command the majority of seats in an attempt to secure the Kremlin’s hold and influence over the occupied regions.”

The Ukrainian government’s National Resistance Center says occupation officials have significantly overstated the number of voters on the electoral register. It is calling on citizens in “Temporarily Occupied Territories” to ignore the “pseudo-elections” and not to open their doors to occupation authorities.

“Despite the fact that Russian propaganda portrays the turnout and talks about great excitement among local people about voting, the empty mobile polling stations say the opposite,” the National Resistance Center said Tuesday.

Kyiv said Ukrainians should not assist the Russian invaders staging sham elections in occupied territories. Anyone who takes part in the effort will “bear responsibility according to the current legislation of Ukraine,” officials said.