On November 2, the people of Donbass went to the polls in a parliamentary election. The People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk had been proclaimed after a referendum 6 months earlier. Now they were choosing their leaders under the scrutiny of international observers. The region has now rebranded itself as the Federal State of Novorossiya. For some time it’s needed to be self-sufficient after Ukraine withdrew all state services, including pensions, and severed economic ties, putting the Donbass population on the brink of starvation. Over 700 000 citizens have been forced to flee Donbass since the military conflict began. Now after those elections, many have begun to return.