Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why There Will Be Few Votes on May 25 in Donetsk

Summary of conversation with a colleague in Donetsk, living in the city center:

  1. Armed men closed down the district electoral commission. They destroyed voter rolls and voting equipment, burned the ballots, and locked the doors, warning polling officials not to return.
  2. Separatist forces are threatening to shoot anyone who shows up to vote.
  3. Even if someone wanted to vote, the polling stations are locked.
  4. Armed separatists are appearing at colleges and universities informing male students that they have been drafted and must report for duty.
  5. The police do nothing to prevent these activities. Looting and theft are growing day by day. Shots can be heard throughout the city day and night.
  6. There may be some polling stations open in the extreme west of Donetsk oblast. My colleague would be surprised if the total turnout is 10 percent.
  7. The self-appointed leaders of the self-declared Peoples republic of Donetsk will claim that the people of Donetsk have deliberately boycotted the presidential election, although they did vote in large numbers in the independence referendum
  8. Advice to the government in Kiev: These terrorists can only be removed by force. The sooner and more decisively the better.

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