Ukrainian Analyst Konstantin Bondarenko: Closing Polling Stations in the Russian Federation Removes Protest Votes From the Election

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Ukrainian authorities flagrantly violate the electoral rights of three million Ukrainians living or working in Russia. Such an opinion was expressed on January 11th by the Ukrainian political scientist Kost Bondarenko on the air of the “NewsOne” TV channel.

“On the territory of the Russian Federation there are from 2.5 million to 3 million Ukrainian citizens who have the right to vote [in Ukrainian elections – ed]. It is obvious that if the authorities tell them to go to Helsinki, Tbilisi, or Astana to vote, then thus the rights of these citizens have been violated”

said Bondarenko

He considers that the argument of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin – that Ukrainian gastarbeiters do not choose to vote – is unconvincing.

“At the last elections in 2014 only 1,800 people from everyone who is there came to vote. But in this situation this is once again a violation of electoral rights, because they have the right to vote”

specified Bondarenko

According to the political scientist, Ukrainian Embassies must control the honesty of elections on the territory of other states.

“Ukrainians vote not at some precinct in Babushkinsky district, but on the territory of the Embassy of Ukraine. It [the government – ed] can completely oversee the voting process,” concluded the expert, and assumed that this ban is only a banal excuse to prevent several millions of people who are dissatisfied with the reforms of Poroshenko-Groisman from voting.

As a reminder, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine made the decision to close the Ukrainian polling precincts on the territory of Russia. They were transferred to three neighbouring countries: Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Finland. Ukrainians who are residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow now will only be able to vote by visiting the building of the Embassy of Ukraine in Finland.

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