He also underscored that the DPR and LPR residents were not in an information vacuum: Poroshenko's appeal not to participate in the elections was broadcasted by almost all local media. A similar appeal was made by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. At the same time, the direct response to these appeals was the high voter turnout.
The DPR and LPR elections were necessary for the best implementation of the Minsk agreements, RISS expert said. The Minsk agreements require negotiations with Donbass representatives, so it is very important for them to have a high degree of legitimacy. O.Nemensky also stressed that the elections were planned four years ago.
"The West would like to see the heads of the republics not elected by the people, but appointed from Moscow. It would be very easy to blame the Kremlin for the fact that it holds absolutely state-controlled entities on the Ukraine's territory and to deny to the DPR and LPR representatives their right to direct negotiations with Kiev. As for the elections, the high voter turnout has demonstrated the viability of the people's republics and their internal legitimacy," the political scientist concluded.