Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why does Russia want the West to perceive the Crimean referendum as fraudulent?

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"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything."

- Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin

Yesterday the results were announced from the Crimean referendum for secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia. Reportedly, an astounding 83% of the electorate voted and a whopping 96.7% voted in favor of leaving the Ukraine for Russia.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, yesterday’s Crimean referendum on secession from Crimea and joining Russia resulted in a “yes” vote. What is, perhaps, somewhat striking is that the official results state that an incredible 96.7% of the voters voted “yes.” A 96.7% is almost never seen on anything at all controversial outside of places like North Korea – or, of course, the old Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin served as a high-ranking KGB officer.

It is highly improbable that 96.7% would have voted yes in a genuinely free vote, since the Crimean population includes large Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities that are overwhelmingly opposed to a return to Russian rule. Crimean officials are also reporting a high 83% turnout. If that figure is correct, it makes it unlikely that the 96.7% result is explicable by selective turnout. If, on the other hand, officials are lying about the turnout, they could be engaging deception about the vote margin as well. [Washington Post, 3/17/14]

What's really profound if that in Simferopol, 474,137 votes were cast when public census data taken late last year put the voting-age population in the Crimean capitol city at 385,462. That's a 123% turnout!

Even in a violent, chaotic, oppressive atmosphere, rigging elections takes a certain finesse. So some corrupt official or other must be kicking himself to see that in Sevastopol, Ukraine, 123 percent of the population just “voted” on whether Crimea should join the Russian Federation.

The referendum, widely condemned as illegal, enjoyed a turnout of more than 80 percent, according to Mykhaylo Malyshev, chair of the committee overseeing the process. He announced last night that 1,250,426 people had voted on whether to merge with Russia or revert to a semi-autonomous status outlined in a 1992 constitution, though that figure did not account for Sevastopol’s electorate. Including that city, he said, 1,724,563 people had voted—and, in a landslide result, about 97 percent wanted to break from Ukraine.

It wasn’t long, though, before a blogger known as teh-nomad poked some holes in that math with a skeptical LiveJournal post. Given that 474,137 people from Sevastopol were meant to have cast ballots, he found it more than a little suspicious that, at the end of last year, public census data put the voting-age population at 385,462. Where did the extra 88,675 votes come from? “Infants, schoolchildren, and, I suspect, the dead,” teh-nomad wrote. [The Daily Dot, 3/17/14]

It's evident the Crimean referendum was fraudulent, but the real question is, why is this so obvious? It's not like Russia's secret services aren't skilled at staging sham democratic elections. They carry them out on a regular basis in their own country after all, but at least there they keep the numbers relatively believable. In the case of the Crimean referendum, the declared results from the highly controversial vote are geared to be seen in the West as a farce.

Why so?

If Moscow wanted to eventually work out a compromise with the West for taking back Crimea from the Ukraine (Soviet Premier Khrushchev gifted the peninsula to Ukraine in 1954), then you'd think the Kremlin would have wanted the elections to appear legitimate.

Yet, the referendum results are a spectacular fraud that inflames international tensions over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

I dare say then that Russia is intentionally stoking a fire with America and the Western powers, and this likely has everything to do with the Kremlin's underlying plan to ultimately wage and "win" (the term is used lightly here) a nuclear third world war.

[Use "CC" for English translation]

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