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Ukraine’s Separation from USSR Could Be Declared Unconstitutional by Local Court

If the results of the 1991 Ukrainian referendum on independence are appealed in court, RI's Alexei Pankin will testify to massive ballot rigging

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The Governor of the Zakarpattia region, Gennady Moskal (ironically his last name coincides with the contemptuous nickname the Ukrainian nationalists give Russians) has filed a lawsuit in the regional Administrative court of Zakarpattia challenging the results of the local referendum held on December 1, 1991 simultaneously with the all-Ukrainian referendum on Ukraine’s independence. Back then, 78% of Zakarpattia’s citizens voted for the region becoming a self-governing entity. i.e.. practically full autonomy. 

The grounds for the claim were the gross procedural violations committed by the regional election committee. The problem was that the committee was also responsible for the referendum on independence as well as the presidential elections. That meant that if the governor’s lawsuit is successful,  the illegitimacy of the results of the all-Ukrainian vote on independence will be valid for Zakarpattia as well. 

<figcaption> Moscow swine feeds off Ukrainian cow - a 1991 referendum pro-independence leaflet</figcaption>
Moscow swine feeds off Ukrainian cow - a 1991 referendum pro-independence leaflet

The Ukrainian journalist Yuri Gorodnenko, who opposes the current authorities and who has drawn the attention to this episode, remembers the many violations by election committees all over the Ukraine contained in the archives, and concludes that there are many reasons to review the results of the voting by the courts in other regions as well. 

Should this process take place, I’m ready to provide the court with a taped interview of the summer 1994 with Dmitro Ponamarchuk, who was a close friend of the legendary Vyacheslav Chernovol, a leader of the Ukraine independence movement during Soviet times and the founder of the national-democratic party the People's Movement of the Ukraine, or Rukh, that fought for Ukraine’s separation from Moscow during Perestroika.

I quote the transcript:

"What an example! 90%-91% of people [officially] voted for the independence of the Ukraine, when in fact little more than 65% actually did. The democrats kept quiet because independence is a sacred thing, while the communists needed to achieve independence. (The first elected president of the country, Leonid Kravchuk, had been the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic– editor’s note). …Observers, meaning we, also kept quiet, manipulating the votes for our candidate [for president] from the People's Movement of Ukraine, Vyacheslav Chernoval. We couldn’t talk about it because others would say: “if you say they are manipulating the presidential elections, that means they’re doing the same with the vote for independence…

'he election committee in the Kiliya district of Odessa region provided results in which 112% were for independence. They said: “Do you understand what that means?” He answered: “You told me to fulfill the quota! I have over-fulfilled it”… We told him to change it to 92%."

Local journalists in Odessa observed the voting in a polling station in the city center. There were 40% for and 60% against  independence. But just the opposite results came up in other stations where there was no independent monitoring. Members of that monitoring group are eager to take the stand in the upcoming trial. 

According to official data, there were 54.19%  of Crimeans who voted for separating from the USSR. If we take the average fraud mentioned by Ponamarchuk as 25%, that means that 70% of  Crimeans wanted to stay with Moscow in 1991. 

Apparently, Ukraine’s future is taking a brand new twist due to the initiative of the Zakarpattia region Governor named Moskal. And RI is ready to be part of it.

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