In a series of closed-door meetings held in November 2023, the Kremlin instructed its regional leaders and occupation officials in Ukraine to intensify efforts to secure russian passports for residents in temporarily occupied territories. The directive, issued by the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko, aims to bolster preparations for the upcoming Putin elections, the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine reports.
The Kremlin’s strategy involves a two-pronged approach:
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- Financial Incentives: Local budgets will be tapped to provide social assistance to voters, reinforcing the notion that russian citizenship brings tangible benefits;
- Propaganda Blitz: Russian state media will amplify narratives of economic growth, ruble stability and improved living standards under russian rule.
In addition, occupation authorities have been tasked with achieving an 85% passportization rate among residents in temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. This coercive measure is seen as a means to artificially inflate voter turnout and solidify russia’s grip on these regions.
The Kremlin’s actions underscore its determination to manipulate and control the electoral process in Ukraine. By exploiting economic hardship and disseminating false propaganda, russia seeks to legitimize its illegitimate occupation and maintain its grip on power.
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