To Perfect the Imperfect Title: How Referenda were Historically Manipulated to Justify Territorial Conquest by Nations

Author: Sze Hong Lam
Published: 21.10.2022
Since the 23rd September 2022, Russia organized referenda in the occupied Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. On 30 September 2022, after declaring that the results were predominantly ‘in favor’ of joining Russia, Russia officially annexed the four Ukrainian regions. This was another attempt by Russia to justify the annexation of Ukrainian territories since the controversial 2014 referendum in Crimea. The latter had been widely criticized as an abuse of the institutional process of popular consultation, for its failure to meet the procedural and material prerequisites according to the relevant international standard. In the current referenda, there were…