In Russia, the national vote is ongoing for the fourth already on the approval of amendments to the Constitution, which in fact totally alter the document. And I believe that the international community should react as harshly as possible to this vote, which is de facto being falsified, and de jure remains illegitimate. But first things first.
For starters, let's recall what the Constitution is. The Constitution is the basic law of the state, a special regulatory legal act with the highest legal force. The Constitution defines foundations of the country's political, legal and economic systems.
In fact, this is a type of document, any intervention in or change to which carries long-term implications so it is mandatory for a nationwide discussion. Moreover, the importance of such a discussion prevails over presidential, parliamentary elections, let alone local elections.
Now, let's look at this step by step.
Firstly, such an important vote on amendments to such a vital piece of legislation is being held under conditions where any talk about maintaining at least some sort of secrecy of the vote or eliminating fraud is off the table. Playgrounds, car trunks, porches, benches and intersections - this is what "polling stations" look like!
Secondly, it's all just a major falsification of numbers. For example, after the first day of voting, reports were spun, claiming that the turnout on that day was already 50%, and growing. But at the same time, not a single report, photo or video captured any colossal lines at those handmade "polling stations" with ballot bins put on tree stumps and garbage cans.
Besides, with that 50% turnout still on the rise, by today, it should have long exceeded 100%. So who are those people still voting then? Or perhaps those pseudo-expeers backing the manipulative reports on turnout were fooling us?
Thirdly, residents of the occupied Crimea who had been granted what can be considered as void Russian passports were also welcome to cast ballots, as well as people in the occupied Donbas. Moreover, it was not only those who were "naturalized" in a dubious procedure but even applicants for citizenship who were allowed to vote.
Is it at all possible to consider any country's Constitution valid if foreign citizens partook in the vote to amend it?
Well, let's wait for a reaction of the international community to this absurd clown show called "national vote for constitutional amendments". On the other hand, taking into account the ongoing surrealism, the leader who will one way or another replace the far-from-immortal Vladimir Putin, will find it easy enough to repeal this illegitimate edition of the Constitution and just come up with their own version, which will suit the new ruler best. And this means that in Russia, such an important, crucial document as Constitution is not even worth the paper it's printed on.