Denys Pushylin and Leonid Pasichnyk, leaders of the occupation authorities of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by the Ukrainian government, received membership cards of Russia’s United Russia party.

According to the official website of the political force, the membership cards were personally handed over by the party chairman Dmitry Medvedev.

The solemn ceremony took place before the opening of the third stage of the United Russia party congress, which will re-elect the party’s governing bodies. Some heads of Russian regions and some newly elected members of the State Duma also received membership cards.

Earlier this week, it became known that membership cards of Putin’s United Russia political party were presented to 100 residents of the occupied territories of Donbas who have Russian passports.

According to Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko, the opening of the offices of Russian political parties and the organisation of Russian elections in the occupied part of Donbas contradict its obligations assumed under the Minsk agreements and the “Normandy format.”

“The Russian Federation is trying to squeeze out the maximum dividends from the seizure of territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At the same time, no United Russia membership cards or promises of political careers for ‘officials’ of the occupation administration compensate the residents of Donbas for the grief and poverty brought by the Russian occupation,” the diplomat said.

According to him, United Russia is trying to save the drop in ratings against the backdrop of a catastrophic epidemic situation and a total restriction of human rights and freedoms in Russia by attracting residents of the occupied Ukrainian territories into its ranks.

The spokesman stressed that Moscow could influence the improvement of the situation in Donbas “by real steps, not political projects,” namely: to order its armed forces to adhere to the ceasefire, unblock the work of the checkpoints, stop hindering young people who are looking for a better life in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, and ensure that international humanitarian organisations have unimpeded access to all detainees.

Bohdan Marusyak

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