The “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) officially asked Moscow to join the Russian Federation only a few hours after declaring victory in a May 11 referendum. Self-proclaimed leader Denis Pushilin held a press conference in Donetsk.
“Based on the will of the people and on the restoration of an historic justice, we ask the Russian Federation to consider the absorption of the Donetsk People’s Republic into the Russian Federation,” he said.
“The people of Donetsk have always been part of the Russian world. For us, the history of Russia is our history.”
TT @dnrpress Pushilin: “We’ve asked Russian Federation to consider accession to Russia as a subject. We’re waiting for Russia’s reaction”
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) May 12, 2014
The referendum took place on Sunday and was considered illegal by Ukraine and the West. Ballots were printed on regular paper with no watermark and polling stations had no voter rolls. Journalists noted many voting violations, including one man who left a voting booth with five ballots. On Saturday, over 100,000 ballots marked “YES” were found in a car along with weapons, a DPR badge, and a St. George ribbon. The only question on the ballot asked people if they want to form a self-reliant DPR. There was no mention of Ukraine or Russia.
Ukrainians in Moscow voted in the referendum and the Kremlin said Russia recognizes the outcome. The Kremlin has not addressed the request, but Shaun Walker from The Guardian noticed something odd on Russian television.
Russian TV now discussing the collapse & division of Ukraine; “how many people want to taste the big Ukrainian pie” pic.twitter.com/KDQmmPVVFg
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) May 12, 2014