Watching the process of preparation for referendum in Luhansk, one may thought that it won`t be held at all. Luhansk district by the end of April stood actually apart from the main events in Donbass. DNR leaders always remained in the focus of attention, regularly clarified the process of preparation for the vote, were first to create their own CEC and announce about the vote papers availability and committee creation, while Luhansk up to the certain time remained silent. Actually, the referendum in this region gained popularity more than a week ago, though non-public activity there was held before.
One way or another, but the campaign of pasting up simple ads and placing outdoor advertising with vote call started just on the 8th-9th of May. Besides, there were verbal calls from the members of personal defence and information, which comes in news media. Despite the immediacy of preparations and paramilitary circumstances the referendum took place for a number of reasons.
Firstly, during the process of voting there was used ukrainian electoral infrastructure and the stuff, which has been working on elections for all these years. Comissions included the same government employees, and some of them had to work on the referendum in 1991.
Those who refused participate in organization and realization the vote were quickly replaced by more loyal people. As for the informing, helped the current situation, which spread the news about forthcoming referendum in Ukrainian and foreign mass-media. Tragic events in Odessa and Mariupol turned out to be the all-powerful motivation. The further actions depended on the citizens, who didn’t stand providers up.
Just before the referendum the conditions in the region remained tense. A great many of people were in fear of provocative act, attempts of disruption and even terror attacks. Some dreaded criminal responsibility in case of transfer lists of voters to Kyiw. Besides, it was not clear if the support of the initiative among the population was significant. Anyway, the minority of district population participated forceful conflicts and demonstrations.
But the morning on the 11th of May turned out to be a real rush at the ballout comissions. Photos of queues with voters in Donetsk and Luhansk districts spread up in the international mass-media. By the 12 AM the presence reached 50%. In the noontime it became evident that the referendum was successful.
Those who decided to stand apart from the vote in the morning, went to the election committee, making sure, that situation is calm. Fortunately, the day was done quiet without significant events. Meeting friends on the streets, people asked each other if they already voted or not.
Even those who planned not to step in or was just lazy came to the electoral vote.
Having voted, people started discussing the prospects of future republic. Naturally, the main problems included corruption, government responsibility, work of officials etc. Sometimes such conversations are simple, but certainly frank and encouraging. Well, it`s worth noting that a great deal of responsibility is put on new regional government. Donbass shoudn`t become a small prototype of Ukraine with all its insoluble contradictions. Otherwise the prospects of new republic will be as tragic as the destiny of totally lost Ukraine.
Now it`s reported a lot about the holiday spirit during the day of the vote. But it`s not true. At least there was no public celebration. People were really smiling; there was many cheery faces and kindly discussion. It wasn’t the celebration, more like a relief after making a decision. The majority of voters, except those who filled in bulletin on the 11th of may, couldn`t make one`s mind in the future of their region.
Finally they got the real opportunity to assert influence on their prospects. It was the first time after years of useless voting when people made choice which at any rate can result in significant changes. Many participants took the voting for some act of self-defense. It`s no coincidence that this day there were talks about Odessa, Mariupol and Slaviansk at all voting stations. Besides, it was the great opportunity to take revenge upon Kyiw for all months.
One thing we know for sure is that Kyiw doesn`t admit this referendum. The government doesn`t admits neither its legitimacy nor the fact of its realization. Presidential chief of staff has said that the attendance of referendum in the Luhansk district was 0%. Not to admit doesn`t mean not to put up with it.
Referendum in Crimea wasn`t acknowledged as well. But now the issue is over as if Crimea wasn’t the Ukrainian region for more then 20 years.
Currently the most significant issue is the question if Russia admits voting outcome. Russian monitors have told that there were no serious violations during referendum.
There is much confusing as to the actions of republics. Will they join hands or not? How exactly is their government going to deal with problems of continuous antiterrorist drive? What is the resolution of the issue of power in the region? Will they try to enlarge their impact beyond the limits of two regions? Does the government plan the annexation to Russia?
We`ll get answers to all these questions only in the course of time. The 11th of May was marked with the fact that the uprising in the region was held by the population, not a couple of criminals or Russian Federation agents.