The Russian-backed separatist regions of the Donbas held elections on Sunday, 2 November, and a cartoon emerged parodying the fact that voters in these regions were paid for their votes with potatoes, carrots and onions. Photos and footage appeared showing sacks of vegetables outside polling stations, and voters taking them from the backs of trucks parked nearby. The assumption is that these people were paid with food to vote a certain way, but in fact – given the lack of any real choice among candidates – these poor folks were probably paid simply to cast votes, practically the same as vote-buying only with food instead of cash. With winter fast approaching, food that can be stored over the cold months is crucial, and these particular items are the obvious choices. The cartoon shows the “official sponsors” of the Donbas elections, which went unrecognized by Europe, the US and Ukraine, but were recognized as legitimate by the Russian regime.
“Sponsors” of the Donbas elections