In occupied Donetsk region, residents promised food for supporting Putin in election

In occupied Donetsk region, residents promised food for supporting Putin in election

Russian invaders are trying to rally support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in the March election among the population of temporarily occupied territories by spamming them with text messages, promising food packages to those who will vote for Putin’s re-election.

That’s according to Mariupol’s City Council in exile, Ukrinform reports.

Occupation authorities urge residents to sign up for collecting their food packages "at the reception desk of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the DPR."

The City Council notes that the invaders “no longer know how to force” Ukrainians living in occupied territories to vote for Putin in Russia’s elections.

Read also: Modena City Hall revokes permit to hold propaganda exhibit about occupied Mariupol - MFA

"Campaigning does not work as people in Mariupol simply throw leaflets into trash. So now they decided to ‘buy’ people’s votes. In particular, texts are being sent out with an appeal to vote in exchange for a ‘food kit’. Donetsk residents have already received such texts," the report reads, noting that the invaders had first brought civilians “to the brink of survival and despair” before offering “help” only to have them cast their ballots for Vladimir Putin.

Russia's aggression caused one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in Mariupol. Almost 90% of the city has been destroyed as a result of Russian shelling. Utility supplies were never fully restored. Due to soaring prices, locals struggle to buy groceries.

Within the city, as well as across the so-called "DPR" (Donetsk People’s Republic), occupation authorities are forcing Russian citizenship upon Ukrainian nationals, creating conditions where it is the only option for those to keep receiving pensions and other social benefits or work at the enterprises funded from the official budget.

Read also: Ukrainian forces destroy partially built railway bridge near occupied Mariupol

“DPR” is an internationally unrecognized entity in eastern Ukraine, set up by Russian invasion forces after the initial invasion of Ukraine, unleashed in 2014. Russia then went for an illegitimate annexation attempt of the said area on September 30, 2022, six months into the full-scale incursion.

Photo: EPA

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