First group of LPR residents goes to Russia to participate in State Duma election


The first group of Lugansk People’s Republic residents who had applied for participation in the Russian parliamentary election, has left for Russia’s Rostov region.

In LPR capital Lugansk, buses with voters start from Yarmorochnaya Square and the Republic’s railway terminal.

“We’re are in a good mood. We decided to state our position and do our duty, so we’re on the way,” Lugansk resident Olga Svidina said.

She said that she had read Russian political parties’ programs and decided who she would vote for.

“I believe that we have to participate in the election, too. We want to make our choice; it’s our right,” Lugansk resident Nadezhda Zapasnaya said.

She said that she was ready to vote at an information center in the LPR, but decided to take part in onsite voting as she had failed to get her personal pension account number on time.

“Taking part in a vote is our right and duty. We’re in good spirits, in the holiday mood. “We’ll vote hoping that the voice of Donbass will be heard and counted,” LPR capital resident Larisa Rybalchenko said.

Lugansk teacher Nadezhda Zapasnaya said that she planned to vote for the United Russia party because it is led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We (the Donbas Republics) are going to Russia. We’ll vote for peace, for being friends, for all’s being fine and for being together with Russia,” she said.

Social worker from Lugansk Vladimir Yefremenko said that the Donbass Republics’ participation in the election could influence the setup of political forces in Russia, and support the politicians who were most loyal to Donbass.

“Of course, we’ll support those who have been supporting Donbass all these years - they are Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team and his party United Russia,” he said.

On July 20, Russia’s Central Election Commission approved the procedure for Donbass residents who have Russian citizenship to vote in the Russian parliamentary election.

Pursuant to LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik’s order, the Republic opened more than 140 information centers that provide consultations on online voting, and process requests from LPR residents with Russian citizenship who wish to vote in Russia’s Rostov region.

Starting July 1, LPR Migration Service offices began to accept applications from LPR residents for fast track personal pension account number and account registration on Russia’s government services portal. Mir Luganschine social movement offices provide consultations on obtaining personal pension account number (SNILS).

On April, 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. The first center for LPR residents seeking Russian citizenship opened in Lugansk on May 6; the first group of LPR residents received Russian passports on June 14. The Republic currently has such centers in all towns and districts. On April 24, 2020, Putin signed a law exempting Donbass Republics residents from paying the state fee for conferment of citizenship.

As of mid-June 2021, more than 250,000 LPR residents had been granted fast track Russian citizenship. According to first deputy chairman of the Russian parliament committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots Viktor Vodolatsky, over 600,000 Donbass residents had already obtained fast track Russian citizenship. *i*r

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