– Where are you from? – the good-natured gray-haired guard asks everyone who enters the city’s Palace of Culture.
– From the LPR.
“To the right,” he points to a table with ballot papers under a three-color and two cloth booths next to it. Citizens of the DPR go to the left, to the same table.
There they are asked to show their passport. Almost every visitor asks again: which one? The inhabitants of Donbass have two or even three main documents: their republic, Ukraine and Russia. An employee of the election commission asks for a republican or Ukrainian one. The procedure is almost the same as the Single Voting Day – there is only one question on the ballot, and two answers to it: yes or no.
– Of course yes”. Our Artemovsk has not yet been liberated, we have lived under occupation for eight years. When the Ukrainians came to us in 1914, the first thing they did was to smash shops and shoot people. Now the city is empty, but we want to return to it and live in peace and tranquility, – said Sergey Leonidovich, a tall gray-haired old man. Together with his wife, they reached Voronezh in a roundabout way: through Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. We entered Russia near Pskov, then it was already easier. In Voronezh, the Artemovites met a fellow countryman, he had already got a job as a welder. “Your salaries are higher, but the prices are also higher,” said the thick red-faced Anatoly.
Denis is a programmer and he doesn’t care where he works from. He moved his family – wife, son and grandmother – from Severodonetsk to Voronezh in March. The move took place in two stages: people got to Russia in a short way, during the evacuation. Then Denis returned and drove his car to Voronezh – already through the European Union. They rented an apartment and live on their own.
– It’s high time, – Denis answered the question about the referendum.
Polling stations are open in all municipal districts and city districts of the Voronezh region, the regional election commission reported. In Voronezh, on September 23-24, citizens of the DPR and LPR can express their will in the city recreation center. On Sunday, residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions will start voting at school No. 60 and out-of-town temporary accommodation centers. The referendum will last until 27 September.