To News and Stories

Almost 60 countries condemned the organization of Russia’s elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

The Russian presidential elections of 2024 were held in the occupied parts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as in Crimea – and they have no validity under international law, as the temporarily occupied areas are the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine.

Serhii Kyslytsia, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations,
with representatives of other UN countries. March 15, 2024. New York, USA.
Photo: Official website of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations

“We condemn in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s illegitimate attempts to organize Russian presidential elections in temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine. Holding elections in another UN member state’s territory without its consent is in manifest disregard for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” stated the joint press stakeout by Ukraine, the European Union, and 56 UN member states.

According to Serhii Kyslytsia, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine play a special role in Russian elections. Complete isolation from the outside world enables the Russian leadership to “falsify any turnout and election results.”

“What is now called “elections” in Russia does not correspond to generally recognized democratic principles and standards. This has nothing to do with the free and fair expression of the people’s will. It is rather Putin’s self-proclamation in the sterile conditions of the absence of any competition,” emphasized Kyslytsia.

In particular, the fictitious election process in the temporarily occupied territories is characterized by intimidation and coercion of the local population. Russian authorities have developed many means to achieve this goal. Among them are threats to life, illegal detention, denial of access to medical and social services, threats of deportation, and confiscation of property.

The joint press stakeout by UN member states also recalls the UN General Assembly’s resolution (ESS/11/4) adopted on October 12, 2022: it declared Russia’s attempts to hold so-called referendums in September 2022 in partially occupied regions of Ukraine had no validity under international law. On March 16, 2014, Russia organized similar referendums in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to proclaim these territories to be a part of the Russian Federation.

“We reiterate the UN General Assembly’s calls to all States, international organizations, and UN specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration by the Russian Federation of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as of any or all of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, or Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine,” says the joint statement.

Furthermore, the UN partner states once again urged the Russian Federation to stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and to withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.