OREANDA-NEWS Prior to the referenda, Moscow said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country's parliament would act promptly and sign all necessary documents if people in Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions voted to join Russia.Sputnik spoke with Purnima Anand, the president of the BRICS International Forum and International Federation of Indo-Russian Youth Clubs (IFIRYC), who visited Donbass herself as an international observer for the referendum and shared a more global perspective on the events unfolding there.

According to Anand, who said that she was welcomed very nicely together with many international dignitaries on the ground, the voting was “very fair and transparent”, and it was clear that “people wanted to vote”.According to the BRICS official, Russia made a “humanitarian step” by supporting people of Donbass in their desire to decide their own future, and it is also a huge contribution for the future generation of the region to obtain “equal rights” and “security”, given that local residents have been under constant attacks following the US-backed coup in Kiev in 2014.The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR, respectively) proclaimed their independence from Ukraine in 2014 after holding self-determination referendums. In February 2022, Russia recognized the DPR and LPR and launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to calls for help from the Russian-speaking population.Throughout the conflict since 2014, Ukraine has carried out mining operations, using, among other explosives, the scatterable high explosive anti-personnel PFM-1 land mines prohibited by the 1997 Ottawa Treaty and the 1996 protocol to the Geneva Convention.