Council of Europe condemns ‘sham elections’ in Russian-occupied Ukraine News
Council of Europe condemns ‘sham elections’ in Russian-occupied Ukraine

The Council of Europe released a joint statement Sunday condemning the recent elections in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.

Over the course of one week, Russia held regional elections across several parts Ukraine, including four regions that it does not fully control – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. The elections resulted in an overwhelming majority for Russia’s ruling party, securing its position of power in the occupied land.

Internally, the election was renounced by Ukrainian government. In a statement from the Ukrainian ministry in Kyiv, authorities referred to the election as “grossly violat[ing] the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Several foreign authorities have responded to the election negatively as well. The Council of Europe released a statement Sunday denouncing the results, saying,

We strongly condemn the illegitimate sham “elections” that took place on 8-10 September 2023 in the territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. Held in flagrant violation of international law, they consitute a further illustration of the denial by the Russian Federation of the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law upheld by the Council of Europe. The Russian authorities’ decision to organise them is only the latest in a series of illegal and harmful decisions they have taken since the Russian Federation was expelled from our Organisation as a result of its war of aggression against Ukraine.

These sham “elections” can only be considered as null and void under international law. [sic]

The Council of Europe is not the only foreign administration to condemn the election. Before the results were announced, United States Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken published a press release calling the election “pre-determined” and “fabricated” to support Russia’s claims to control over Ukraine.