Despite War, Democracy Prevails in Ukraine

Ukrainian wartime leader Volodymyr Zelensky sent a message to the Ukrainian Public Public Broadcaster (Suspilne) on Monday.

Zelensky said whatever ideological or geographical concessions Kyiv undertakes with Moscow in order to broker a peace accord between the warring parties will be put to the Ukrainian people in a vote.

His Own Words

On March 21, Zelensky did not mince words during an appearance with a Ukrainian government broadcasting company.

“If we speak about all of these reforms, which might be historic, we won’t get anywhere; we’ll have to go to a referendum. People will have to speak up and respond to some acceptable formats.”

“This is a topic for discussion and agreement among Ukraine and Russia. In any event, if my journey is with our people, I am willing to do anything.”

Suspilne cited the granting of “security assurances” and talks surrounding “the momentarily [Russian] occupied lands of Donbas and Crimea” as instances of compromises that might hypothetically be put to a public referendum.

“The all-Ukrainian vote will fully settle the concessions reached in the Ukraine-Russia talks.”

“This pertains to security assurances, as well as the briefly occupied Donbas and Crimean areas,” the news outlet noted in its first paragraph.

Zelensky’s description of how some NATO partners could assist Ukraine through a “security guarantee” was quoted by the broadcasting company.

“There are NATO nations that wish to be security guardians. While they can’t give us full membership in the [NATO] alliance, they are willing to do all the alliance would have to do if we had been members.”

While Ukraine is at war with Russia, Zelensky and his government have not explained how they expect to hold a public referendum for Ukrainians.

Since the last three weeks, an estimated ten million people are fleeing Ukraine’s war.

Russia Does This All the Time

For ages, Russia has utilized opinion polls in Ukraine to accomplish its annexation aspirations from its western rival.

In March 2014, inhabitants of Ukraine’s southern peninsular territory of Crimea voted to join Russia in a vote organized by Moscow.

The Donetsk, as well as Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), two Russian-backed separatist nations in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area, held a similar vote in May 2014.

This was done to legalize their respective setups as sovereign “republics.” Most western governments did not acknowledge the legitimacy of the results of both referendums in 2014.

However, since the latest war between both the two countries broke out on February 24, Ukrainian elected politicians attempted various peace negotiations with their Russian colleagues.

The conflict erupted 72 hours after the Kremlin indicated it would recognize the DPR and LPR’s statehood.

Over the last month, Moscow attempted multiple failed peace talks with Kyiv. The first three sessions of negotiations took conducted on February 28, March 3, and March 7, along the Belarus-Ukraine boundary.