Referendum in Donetsk
And here it is – the Donetsk Republic has organised the referendum after all. The polling stations were set up where other elections were usually held, and in Donetsk only a few remain unopened today. Genuine queues from the very morning; I did not expect such a turnout, frankly speaking. Everyone can vote; a passport with documents relating to registration of residence in the Donetsk district suffices. Besides, there is “special polling station No. 2", located in a tent in front of the ODA. This is the only place where I see the typical, suspicious-looking separatists wearing khaki clothing, and black and orange ribbons. Most of the voters I encounter today are rather apolitical residents of Donetsk; emotional about the fact that they can express their opinion in this way. It is usually as follows: We want to be heard. No one can really answer the question over what the consequences of the referendum are to be, that is to say, what specifically, is to change and how. The question about federalisation arouses embarrassment. Something else matters to them: they want to show that they have their say, that they are not "separatists given over to Russia’s service" (this offends them). They are convinced that Kiev and the world see terrorists in them. They intend to show they are not. How the vote and its result will help them, it is hard for me to understand, but the mood is optimistic.