Government Policy

US slams Russia-backed ‘sham elections’ in Ukraine rebel strongholds

The US on Wednesday condemned

reports of a plan to conduct elections in Ukraine's rebel strongholds of

Donetsk and Lugansk, calling the polls a Russian-backed sham.

Both self-proclaimed republics have scheduled votes for November 11,

according to Russian and Ukrainian media, following the murder of separatist

leader Alexander Zakharchenko last month.

The United States condemns the announcement of a plan to conduct

'elections' in the so-called 'Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics,' the

State Department said.

Given the continued control of these territories by the Russian

Federation, genuine elections are inconceivable.

By engineering phony procedures, Russia is once more demonstrating its

disregard for international norms and is undermining efforts to achieve peace

in eastern Ukraine.

It follows a similar statement by the European Union, which said the

proposed votes ran contrary to the Minsk agreements brokered by France and

Germany in 2015.

The election dates were announced following the killing of Zakharchenko,

leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, on August 31.

Zakharchenko was killed in a bombing at a Donetsk cafe becoming the four-

year conflict's most prominent victim from the Moscow-backed side.

Moscow and rebel authorities have said Kiev was behind the assassination,

while Ukraine links the bombing to internal feuding and Russia's desire to

control the territory.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the rebel insurgency broke

out in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions in April 2014 following

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Russia of funneling troops and arms

across the border. Moscow has denied the claims despite evidence to the

contrary.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)