NewsPolling stations open in occupied Kherson, Ukraine amid controversy

Polling stations open in occupied Kherson, Ukraine amid controversy

The traitor has already voted. Russians are choosing their tsar.
The traitor has already voted. Russians are choosing their tsar.
Images source: © Balance
8:01 AM EDT, March 16, 2024

Russians have opened polling stations in the occupied Kherson region of Ukraine. Volodymyr Saldo, branded a traitor of Ukraine and now acting as the region's governor, was seen casting his vote in front of cameras. Saldo defected to the Russians following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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"Dear friends, today marks a historic moment - the opening of polling stations in the Kherson region for the Russian Federation Presidential elections," Volodymyr Saldo shared on his Telegram channel. "I was among the first to vote, fully aware of the significance of this action," he continued.

Saldo's betrayal of Ukraine

Saldo, currently mimicking the governor of Kherson at Russia's behest, was formerly the mayor of Kherson. Before the conflict erupted in Ukraine, he served as a member of the Supreme Council of Ukraine from 2012 to 2014, until Crimea was annexed. Subsequently, he fled to Russia, only to return with ambitions to run for city mayor again.

In 2020, he established his political party, the Volodymyr Saldo Block, which was banned in 2022 due to its support for Russian aggression in Ukrainian territory. That same year, he made another bid for the mayor's office but was defeated in the second round.

Immediately after the onset of the full-scale war in April 2022, the occupying forces appointed him as the head of the Kherson military-civil administration. He became a Russian citizen, and it was under his governance that a bogus referendum on the union of the Kherson region with Russia was organized.

Saldo: Putin's puppet

Over time, Saldo's influence dwindled as the Kremlin tightened its grip. His standing became increasingly nominal. Reports emerged in August 2022 that Saldo had been poisoned and fell into a coma.

On September 30, 2022, he attended an official event in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin validated the results of the so-called "referendum," acknowledging the "independence" of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

The United Kingdom has vehemently decried the Russian presidential "elections" held in Ukraine's temporarily occupied territories, deeming them illegal. This was stated by Neil Holland, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the OSCE, on Thursday.

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