20 September 2022


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Russia Holding Referenda in Occupied Ukraine


The idea of a referendum on whether a population will be governed by one authority or another has a long and sordid history of dictators using them for anti-democratic ends. Herr Hitler had his plebescite in the Sudetenland, and Mr. Putin has already claimed Crimea from Ukraine under such a Potemkin-democracy mechanism. Now, he is going to do it again. Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts will have referenda in a few days on whether these allegedly independent statelets want to join the Russian Federation. The vote will be in favor, and it will mean nothing despite what Russian leaders claim. The war will go on much as before.

Reuters reported this morning, "The Russian-backed, self-proclaimed Luhansk People\'s Republic (LPR) and the neighbouring Donetsk People\'s Republic (DPR) said the planned referendums [sic] would be held from Sept. 23-27.

"In a post on social media addressed to Putin, DPR head Denis Pushilin wrote: \'I ask you, as soon as possible, in the event of a positive decision in the referendum - which we have no doubt about - to consider the DPR becoming a part of Russia\'."

The wire service also reported that members of the Russian Duma have said that they want to annex these territories if the people vote to join Russia. This whole matter is largely symbolic, but the Russian leadership has already started trying to convince the world that it would change matters completely.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former PM and President, wrote on Telegram, "They (the referenda) would completely change the vector of Russia\'s development for decades. And not just of our country. The geopolitical transformation of the world would be irreversible once the new territories were incorporated into Russia."

He also wrote, "Encroachment onto Russian territory is a crime which allows you to use all the forces of self–defence. This is why these referenda are so feared in Kyiv and the West."

Precious little of that is true. Disputed territory remains disputed territory. A one-sided referendum changes nothing. Indeed, if the Kyiv government were truly Machiavellian, it would hold similar referenda in the parts of Luhansk and Donetsk that it holds, which it would no doubt win. With competing referenda resulting in different outcomes, the matter goes nowhere.

Even without such plotting, the world will largely see in these plebescites what it wants to see. Russia\'s few allies will see the votes as Messrs. Putin and Medvedev want them seen. Kyiv and its allies will see the fraud that it is. And the countries in the middle are not going to be swayed one way or another. Russia will neither gain nore lose allies in this move.

It seems fclear that Russia is going more and more desperate. Defeated on the battlefield, Moscow is trying to find a dimension in which it has a chance of winning. The political battlefield is more appealing than the physical one. Of course, there is no way to know truly what Russia is doing in cyberspace, but if Moscow is up to something there, one can find no evidence of any kind of success.

The war will drag on. The referenda are a sideshow. The one thing that matters right now is that the Russians are in retreat.

© Copyright 2022 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

Kensington Review Home



Follow KensingtonReview on Twitter


Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys