Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 16.03.2018
Four years after Russia invaded Ukraine and occupied part of its territory, Ukrainian citizens in Crimea will be compelled to participate in a so-called ‘election’ to reaffirm the dominance of Putin. March 18 is when Putin will be crowned tsar again – although the show is being presented as a presidential election. The event is well-known to have no legitimacy as an expression of the genuine democratic will of the Russian people, because the voting will be neither free nor fair. Putin will end up with even less legitimacy because a statistically significant number of so-called ‘voters’ will be Ukrainians who were stripped of their citizenship and have had foreign Russian citizenship thrust upon them. Putin will have no democratic mandate, and he will have to deal with the poison fruit of his invasion of Ukraine until he de-occupies Crimea and Donbas.
No real democratic country will recognize the Russian presidential election on the territory of Crimea. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is not sending election observers to Ukrainian Crimea which is temporarily occupied by Russia. The Putin regime fears the looming spectre of democratic illegitimacy, and is scrambling to send fake ‘election observers’ from European far right political parties that are funded by the Kremlin. This is too little, to late, and the effort won’t fool anybody.
Prompted by Ukraine, the United Nations Security Council has been holding an ‘Arria’ meeting to discuss Crimea and the illegitimate Russian presidential election voting that will be held there. Representatives of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, which is the executive-representative body of the autochthonous people of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, were in attendance and spoke. Muscovy can and does stop the United Nations from doing anything to fulfil its mandate of world peace, because it calls itself the “Russian Federation” and usurped the seat properly belonging only to the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. Therefore the Arria meeting had no result. But Muscovy was isolated on the world stage. After four years of ceaseless propaganda and ‘special war’ against the West, Muscovy has no significant allies in its ridiculous claim that Crimea has been ‘annexed’ to the Russian Federation or that this part of Ukraine is in any way part of Russia.
Putin made an illegal entry to Ukraine on March 14. He visited Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine without the consent of the Ukrainian government. Putin turned himself into an international outlaw only to give a 30 second speech – for which he forced thousands among the captive population of Crimea to wait many hours. Putin may have intended to look tough against Ukraine and other Western countries, but he ended up looking weak. Putin’s illegal entry to Ukraine highlighted the illegitimacy of Russia’s occupation of Crimea and the non-existent democratic foundation of his presidency and its re-affirmation in the coming ‘election.’
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is mounting an effective diplomatic effort to get all Western democratic countries to reject as bogus the Russian presidential election in Ukraine. Ukraine is pointing out that with as many as a million and a half so-called ‘votes’ expected to be announced as coming from Ukrainian Crimea, the result of the Russian presidential election will be affected. The illegitimacy and corruption of having subject peoples in Russia-occupied Ukraine vote will spread to the whole election, making the entire re-affirmation ‘election’ of Putin illegitimate and corrupt.
Putin has weakened himself very badly by invading Ukraine and occupying parts of Ukraine, and then pretending to conduct an election in Crimea. Putin already lacks democratic legitimacy as Russian president because he is too weak to run in a competitive election where an opponent could win. Putin claiming to be the president of Russia becomes a laughing-stock when the world sees him illegally enter Ukraine and ‘campaign’ for votes among the captive population of Crimea.