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Soldiers continue their door-to-door campaign for votes in Mariupol

Soldiers continue their door-to-door campaign for votes in Mariupol

Accompanied by soldiers, Russian officials continue their campaign door-to-door campaign and comb neighbourhoods to solicit votes in the occupied territories.

Mariupol is one of the Russian-occupied Ukrainian cities where presidential "elections" are held, which Kiev calls "illegal and null."

As in other territories occupied by Moscow, voting operations began several days earlier, with the arrival of "mobile ballot boxes".

Occupational authorities claim this is for security reasons.

A man casts a ballot at a polling station during a presidential election in Mariupol, Russian-occupied Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine
A man casts a ballot at a polling station during a presidential election in Mariupol, Russian-occupied Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine - AP

The "elections" in the territories occupied by Moscow

Early elections to elect the President of the Russian Federation were also staged in the Luhansk Territory as well as parts of the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces.

Mariupol has suffered much loss of life and destruction during the Russian siege and heavy fighting in early 2022. The occupying authorities say they are actively rebuilding the city, showing off the renovated facades of residential houses, previously damaged by shelling .

Last Saturday, a tragic anniversary passed without a trace in the occupied city: two years since the Russian bombing of the Drama theatre on 16 March, 2022. It is considered the deadliest Russian attack against civilians since the start of the war in Ukraine. It is believed that two 500kg bombs hit the building, where between 800 and 1,200 people were taking refuge.

Hundreds of people died. The exact toll is not yet known as the relevant authorities never investigated. The Kremlin has denied any involvement, trying to shift the blame onto the Ukrainians. At the end of 2023, the demolition of the ruins began: according to Kiev, Moscow's attempt to erase evidence of the massacre by Russia.

Several organizations consider the bombing to be intentional, and therefore a war crime, since the theatre was evidently not a military target and was too far from any other facilities for it to be assumed that it was a mistake.