Ukraine calls on international community not to recognize regional elections in Russia occupied territories

Regional and municipal elections have begun today in Russia. Voting is taking place in 85 regions, including the "new Russian territories" – partially occupied areas of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions of Ukraine.

Russia-appointed governor of Zaporizhia, Yevgeny Balitsky, has stated that over 30% of residents in the region have already cast their votes, according to reports RBC news agency.

However, powerful explosions rocked a lyceum in Berdiansk overnight, where the Russians have set up a "polling station," Ukrainian media reports, citing the legitimate mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov.

"The occupiers of Berdiansk are starting sham elections loudly. The military security was not able to help - they remained under the debris," Fedorov wrote on Telegram.

The so-called elections in the Kherson region are also facing difficulties. The electoral commission was evacuated twice during the day due to air raid warnings. Additionally, according to TASS, the air defense system shot down two Ukrainian drones attempting to attack polling stations.

In light of the illegal voting, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged international partners not to recognize the results of the elections conducted by Russia.
"The actions of the Russian Federation grossly violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Ukrainian legislation, and international law, including the UN Charter. By organizing fake elections in Ukrainian regions and Crimea, the Kremlin continues to delegitimize the Russian legal system," reads the statement from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Ukrainian officials, individuals involved in the organization of these pseudo-elections, including the Russian government, representatives of the occupation administrations, and electoral structures, should be held accountable.
Earlier, Ukrainian authorities had called on residents of the occupied regions to refrain from participating in the fake elections.

  War in Ukraine, Russia