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National Resistance Center: Russians set up sham 'election schools' for youth in occupied Kherson

by Abbey Fenbert August 7, 2023 7:08 AM 1 min read
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin exits a voting booth during the March 2018 presidential election. (Photo by Kyodo News Stills via Getty Images)
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Russian forces have established "schools for young voters" in occupied areas of Kherson Oblast, the National Resistance Center reported on Aug. 6.

The schools' stated purpose is to prepare high school students for the Russian presidential "elections."

According to the Center, the training program is set to begin in September and last until March 2024, when Russia will hold its next presidential election.

"It should be noted that in Russia there is no such thing as elections," the Center said.

International observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described Russia's previous presidential election, held in 2018, as "overly controlled."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed this in a comment to the New York Times on Aug. 6.

"Our presidential elections are not exactly democracy, they are expensive bureaucracy," Peskov said. "Putin will be re-elected next year with over 90% of the vote."

Later, Peskov walked back his claim, telling the Russian state news outlet TASS that the Times journalist misinterpreted his words.

In July 2023, Russian occupation authorities in Kherson announced that the region would hold local "elections" in September. Ukrainian officials denounced these elections as illegal and "absurd theater."

Life under occupation: ‘I was forced to vote in sham referendum at gunpoint’
Editor’s Note: This story includes interviews with people living under the Russian occupation. Their names have been changed to protect their identity as they have shared sensitive information that could place them and their families in danger. Mariupol resident Oleksandr, 53, had just entered a ha…
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