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They voted for those they lived with under the bombing: how were the first elections in the DPR after joining Russia?

Date: April 19, 2024 Time: 16:02:53

In the republic, 615 polling stations have been opened

Photo: REUTERS

The morning in Donetsk starts strong. “Arrivals”, I observe during the morning sleep. “They won’t let people vote normally.”

For attacks in Donetsk, the kyiv regime usually chooses holidays and weekends, when citizens take to the streets. And here is such an event: in the DPR, for the first time, elections are held as a region of Russia. In the republic, 615 polling stations have been opened. But in many areas people voted early to avoid putting the polling stations at risk. Election commission employees have been going door to door with ballot boxes since August.

And from Friday to Sunday the polling stations themselves opened.

I’m going out to the city.

“PEOPLE WERE CRYING”

The city is still rumbling. The Ukrainians, in a sadistic ecstasy, bomb the Kuibyshev and kyiv districts of Donetsk. They fired about 200 shells. They destroyed the House of Culture. And they threw a mocking balloon into the sky with a blue and yellow cloth tied to it. Donetsk soldiers attacked him with machine guns. But the wind took the rag away.

“The electoral commissions have everything they need,” said the head of polling station number 13, Margarita Tarbaeva, a beautiful young woman with a fashionable hairstyle. But it’s interesting because she served in the army for 4 years… as a tank commander. This means that the elections are in good hands.

I’m looking for where to go. Voice in headset:

– Are you going to visit us in Kuibyshevsky? Bad idea. We have bombings. It is good that many people have voted in advance. Better to go to Kalininsky, all the action is there now.

In fact, one of the sections of the Kalininsky district became famous on social networks in the morning. The employees of the electoral commission sang in chorus and in a very moving way the song SHAMAN: “…I will not betray my heart. I know, I will give everything so that my Russia can live!

campaign brochure

Photo: Grigory KUBATYAN

Not only voters, but also journalists flocked to the polling station.

– We went from house to house singing these songs with ballot boxes. People were crying. For joy, of course,” says Olga Bolotnikova, a striking blonde. And greedy male glasses and microphones are aimed at her.

– We don’t look at your accreditation. Who are you? – The guards notice me. Can only accredited people hear about love for the Fatherland? And the accreditation for the elections must be done in advance. I didn’t arrive on time. I arrived in Donetsk the day before. And she had no idea that I, the military correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda, needed her in the Donbass.

Handsome armed men escort me to the street.

– You understand, the situation is difficult. Come next year! – They apologize to me. I’m not upset because outside the venue I can talk to whoever I want.

I hang a camera around my neck and passersby stop walking away from me. Only journalists walk around Donetsk with a camera, no one else.

Empty schools turned into voting centers during the elections

Photo: Grigory Kubatian

“Tick” of DESTINY

I approach a lonely middle-aged woman.

– I am registered in the kyiv region. Now there are bombings. They allowed me to vote here. And all my neighbors went to the polls,” says Natalya.

Yesterday, the Ukrainians launched “graduates” in the kyiv region. 155mm (NATO) cluster missiles are already flying today. It takes courage to leave home.

They asked me to leave the place, but I am occupying an observation post next to the flagpole on which the Russian tricolor flies. It is well fortified and the autumn wind only adds vigour.

I look with interest at those who leave the site. Here’s a young woman coming down the stairs. Smiles. Her smile is so good that I hesitate to interrupt her with my questions.

But this wonderful young family with a child looks like something out of a yogurt commercial. The girl, no more than four years old, holds a multicolored pinwheel in her hands. Young parents take a selfie for the story in front of a polling station.

“The elections are important, we have fought for them,” says Alexander. – In 2014 we also went to the referendum, but we had to defend it with blood. Now Russia has recognized us. And we must recognize it by voting among its members.

United Russia election poster

Photo: Grigory Kubatian

– Did you have doubts about whether to go or not?

– No. Our problems in Ukraine were due precisely to the fact that many of them were apolitical. They did not believe that his “tick” on paper determined his fate five years in advance.

A group of young people gathered in the courtyard. They call their friends and wait for everyone to arrive.

– Why did you come? We believe in the best”, Valentín answers my question. “We want something to change in the city.” All my friends went.

“BETRAYAL” AND BENEFITS

I approach a couple who are leaving the site.

– Of course we need elections! says the woman. – To make the world faster. It was just… there was little agitation, everything was somewhat modest.

“Well, Marina… this is the situation,” her husband explains. – First line.

– They won’t wait! – Marina ends the conversation.

An old man in a striped T-shirt shuffles along the asphalt. Did you vote too? I’m catching up:

– Why did you go to the polls?

“That’s it for me,” the old man murmurs. Something rumbles to the side again.

– Aren’t you afraid to go? I scream later.

– No!

A man with yellow smoke glasses comes out of the courtyard. He has a sour look and his pants are tucked into his socks, which makes him look like a hipster.

“We need to vote,” he argues. – And this is to fight lies and betrayal, to demand more benefits.

– Is it possible to defeat treason through elections? I wonder.

– Can. I voted for people I know personally!

Now, of course, the betrayal has no possibilities, but the benefits do. This is a big advantage of Donetsk. Many people here know each other. And especially those who do something useful.

EVEN UNDER UKRAINE THEY FELT RUSSIA

The townspeople are in a hurry about their business, everyone seems busy. By noon, the cries of “arrivals” west of the city subside.

I’m standing at the next place. My documents are being reviewed again. Protecting those who voted.

– We have never crushed a network, since 2014! Then, in the referendum, the line to vote ended there,” says Anatoly, who looks like a miner, waving to the end of the street.

– Since we stay here, we will choose the ones we need! -adds his wife Irina.

– I voted for a person with whom I know all the years of the conflict with Ukraine. We were together under shelling-Anatoly is proud and turns to his wife. -Who did you vote for?

– I won’t tell you, it’s a secret! – She answers melodiously.

– Then I won’t say it either! -she complains.

“I know,” he laughs. He can’t stand it either, she laughs.

Two women come out of the door: mother and daughter. Both with elegant and arranged dresses for the elections. The older woman walks slowly, her daughter holding her hand. There must have been pain in her family. But I don’t ask about that. Only about elections.

“Still, we hope our voices change something,” they say. The main thing is that now we are already in Russia.

– You are happy?

– Certainly. Our children died for this… he had no doubts about who we were. Even under Ukraine they felt like Russia. Especially after Ukraine attacked us. If at first we respected it, then there were no doubts.

– At work they imposed documents on us in Ukrainian. OK. Allow. But when they started saying that we were somehow different, that we shouldn’t live at all… well… you know, there is a limit to everything.

The women support each other. The sky is turning yellow. Evening. And the cloth of the Russian flag falls smoothly on the school pole. Until the morning.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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