Today, one week after the Kiev regime held elections, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics are holding their own elections. Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union have condemned these elections, but Russia supports them. From the BBC:
Presidential and parliamentary polls are being held in the two self-proclaimed people’s republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Ukraine, the US and EU say they will not recognise the elections but Russia has given its support to the polls.
The Donetsk and Luhansk regions fell to separatists after months of fighting in eastern Ukraine that ended with the Minsk ceasefire deal in September.
Rebel leaders say that as independent states they are not required to observe Ukrainian law and therefore did not participate in Ukraine’s national elections last week.
They say three million ballots have been printed for the polls, which will provide for directly elected presidents and parliaments.
And who will lead these two republics, you ask?
Alexander Zakharchenko, the acting head of government in Donetsk, is widely tipped to become the region’s president.
Meanwhile, Igor Plotnitsky is being touted by Russian media as the favourite to win in Luhansk.
But the elections come amid continuing violence in eastern Ukraine.
From what I’ve read on Twitter today, the Russians and others in favor of these elections have said they went off without a hitch. I also saw one source that said Zakharchenko is currently polling at 80% of the vote. The language was very unclear, though: I don’t know if he had 80% of the ballots, or if the article was trying to say that 80% of the ballots cast have been counted.