The elections of heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) and People’s Councils members are an important step towards the legitimization of the Donbass republics, said Russian experts questioned by TASS.
"The fact that voters were very active confirms the legitimacy of the current authorities," said member of the Russian Presidential Council on Interethnic Relations Bogdan Bezpalko. "It gives hope that all provisions of the Minsk Agreements will be consistently implemented, including those concerning local elections that Kiev must hold in coordination with the Donbass republics," he added.
"Kiev failed to disrupt the vote," President of the Center for Systemic Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko pointed out. "People in the Donbass republics have once again legitimized their authorities who now have a mandate to hold talks, as well as the people’s trust," he stressed.
On November 11, the elections of new heads and People’s Councils members took place in the Donbass republics.
Ukraine and a number of Western countries refused to recognize the Donbass republics’ right to hold these elections, saying that it ran counter to the Minsk Agreements. However, Lugansk, Donetsk and Moscow said on numerous occasions that the general elections did not violate the Minsk Agreements, which only concerned municipal elections.
According to the DPR Central Election Commission, Acting Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin has garnered 60.9% of the vote with 97.52% counted. Meanwhile, Acting Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Leonid Pasechnik has gained 68.4% with 96% of the vote counted, the LPR Central Election Commission said.