September 23, 2022

Referendum Redux


Referendum Redux
Pro-Russian demonstrators in Luhansk, 2014. Wikimedia Commons, Qypchak.

On September 19, the legislatures of both the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) requested that their presidents hold referendums immediately concerning their integration into Russia.

The referendums would ask the populations of the republics whether they want to remain as independent states or join Russian territory. In March 2014, the Crimean local government held a similar referendum, with the peninsula's occupants voting to join Russia with a totally-not-suspicious tally of 97 percent in favor.

Both regions have been at the frontlines of conflict since they declared independence from Ukraine in 2014 in response to liberal reforms in Kiev. The LPR and DPR are both ethnic-Russian-majority states and have aligned themselves with Moscow. Very few nations, aside from those close to Russia, have diplomatically recognized either republic's sovereignty, referring to them instead as territories controlled by Russia-backed separatists.

The news comes as the tide of the war in Ukraine is seemingly turning against Russian forces; the LPR and DPR likely seek greater security by joining themselves formally as part of Russia.

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