Collecting signatures in support of the incumbent President Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidency of Russia in the upcoming elections began in the annexed Crimea. The regional branch of the "Victory Volunteers" movement initiated collection of signatures.

The signatures are collected among the Crimeans in the cities of Simferopol and Sevastopol. The Kremlin-controlled organizations promise that several more locations will soon be opened to collect signatures in other cities of the peninsula.

The collection of signatures will last until January 30.

Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin explained why the elections in the Russian Federation would be illegitimate due to the Crimea.

According to him, Russia scheduled presidential elections on the day of the annexation of the Crimea. The Minister notes that the Russian Federation may resort to military provocations during the preparation of these so-called "elections."

Earlier QHA reported that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the monitoring mission of the European Union will not send observers to the annexed Crimea for the presidential elections 2018 in Russia.

The EU has the same position. According to European MP Tomasz Zdziechowski, final lists of observers for elections in Russia are not yet formed, but they will definitely not be sent to the Crimea.