Elections in occupied Ukraine are another challenge to the fundamentals of international law

Elections in occupied Ukraine are another challenge to the fundamentals of international law

THE SO-CALLED "ELECTIONS" IN THE OCCUPATION ARE ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO THE FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW.

On September 8-10, the russian federation is preparing to hold elections to the State Duma. There is no longer any doubt in Russia about the "transparency" and "fairness" of this process... Calling elections a "form of direct democracy" in the totalitarian and thoroughly corrupt russian federation, which is in fact completely controlled by putin's government, is simply ignoring the truth.

It would seem that the results of the elections, which are an internal affair of Russia, will have some impact on the global political picture, but this is only an illusion, because absolutely nothing will change in Russia itself after the elections under the current government. Neither in the foreign nor in the domestic policy of the terrorist state.

But there is one glaring aspect of the next Russian elections: the occupiers are actively preparing to hold a demonstration of "people's will" in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. It is just as illegal as all the referendums and elections held since 2014 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. And since 2022, those held in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. Moreover, despite the hostilities and risking the lives of the so-called "voters".

Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said that Russia has already started holding fake "elections" to its "authorities" in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, doing so at gunpoint.

The British Ministry of Defense confirmed this fact, adding that pseudo-elections in the regions currently occupied by the russian army will be held in parallel with the elections in Russia itself.

To create a "window of opportunity" to hold so-called "elections" in the occupied territories, the State Duma even changed the federal election law.

Of course, russia can make any changes to its own legislation, but they do not in any way cancel the norms of international law.

Forced "passportization" and pressure on citizens to participate in the so-called "elections" at gunpoint violate the UN Declaration, the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They also violate the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the IV Convention relative to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, and UN General Assembly resolutions, in particular, 68/262 "Territorial integrity of Ukraine", 71/205, 72/190, 73/263, 74/168, 75/192, 76/179, 77/229 "Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)", 73/194, 74/17, 75/29, 76/70 "The problem of militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov". At the same time, it is another attempt to justify Russia's attack on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This was also emphasized in the statement of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

So can we call legitimate any elected body of the russian federation, the elections to which will be held on the territory of Ukraine, which is occupied by the Russian armed forces? Absolutely not!

The behavior of the aggressor state in the international arena and the crimes against humanity committed by its military in Ukraine over the past 9 years directly indicate that russia completely ignores not only the laws and customs of warfare, but also the norms and rules of coexistence adopted in the civilized world. 

Therefore, the russian leadership must constantly feel the firmness, steadfastness, and consistency of the positions of the world's leading countries. Imposing tougher sanctions and creating a regime of maximum international isolation will be a tangible response to legally null and void russian elections in the territories of Ukraine that are currently occupied by the aggressor state. 

And finally, let me remind you of one more fact.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine prove every day that all these territories are temporarily occupied. 

Andriy Galat, 

Acting Head of the National Security Information Center of Ukraine

Ukraine Front Lines

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