Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Danielle Bell said this at the presentation of a new report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, which covers the period from February 1 to July 31, 2023, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“The Russian authorities continue to aggressively consolidate the administrative system in the occupied territories, including schools, election infrastructure, hospitals and courts, while imposing Russian legislation in the newly occupied territories. This process is reminiscent of what happened in Crimea almost ten years ago," Bell said.
She added that the Russian occupation authorities were acting in a way that left residents no alternative but to obtain Russian passports.
In this context, Bell noted that those without Russian passports faced the potential loss of employment, as well as limited access to basic services such as healthcare, education and social benefits. In addition, they were subject to long checks and risks of detention at checkpoints.
As reported, Russia held pseudo-elections of various levels in the occupied territories of Ukraine – parts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions – in early September.
Even before they began, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appealed to the parliaments and governments of foreign countries, international organizations and their assemblies not to recognize the elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
European Commission spokesman Peter Stano condemned Moscow's "elections" in the occupied territories of Ukraine.