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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on Aug. 14 that investigators had established the identities of 15 people directly involved in collaborating with the occupying authorities to organize sham elections in Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast.
According to the SBU, criminal proceedings of the group have already begun. The crime of collaborative activity carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Since the suspects live in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, "comprehensive measures are underway to bring them to justice," the SBU said.
The SBU believes that the occupying forces plan to hold the fake elections at a local and regional level for Russia’s proxies in Luhansk in September 2023.
The SBU said that the 15 people are setting up polling stations, disseminating propaganda in support of the illegal elections, and have formed fake election commissions which will be used to falsify voter turnout and election results.
The SBU reported in October 2022 that 23 people had been charged with collaboration for helping to organize Russia’s sham “referendums” in late September 2022 in Russian-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.