Four occupied regions of Ukraine are to vote on joining Russia. The announcement met with some harsh criticism.
- A referendum is to be held in four occupied areas of Ukraine on joining Russia
- The announcement met with sharp criticism, and Ukraine threatened violence
- Western heads of government speak of cynicism and escalation
The eastern Ukrainian region and self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has a disputed referendum for joining Russia. This is the second region after Luhansk.
The vote will be from September 23-27 held, the People’s Assembly announced on Tuesday. The simultaneous referendums are seen as a reaction to the current Ukrainian counter-offensive in the east of the country.
The campaign for rapid accession to Russia began on Monday in the face of the advance of Ukrainian troops. In Luhansk, a body dubbed the “Citizens’ Chamber” appealed to local leadership, soon to hold a referendum on the connection to hold
Referendum also planned in Kherson region
Also in southern Ukraine Kherson region According to pro-Russian authorities, a referendum is to be held on joining Russia. “I inform you that the referendum according to the decree will take place from September 23 to 27, 2022,” said the head of the administration appointed by Moscow, Vladimir Saldo, on Tuesday in the online service Telegram.
The integration of the areas into Russian national territory would be a significant one escalation of military action in Ukraine. He was “sure that the accession of the Cherson region to the Russian Federation will secure our territory and restore historical justice,” Saldo said.
He added that this was a “necessary decision in view of the ongoing acts of terrorism by Ukrainian Armed Forces and NATO member states supplying weapons to kill civilians on our soil”.
The region around the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant should also be voted on, it said on Tuesday. The referendum will also take place from September 23 to 27, as in the other regions, but only in the Moscow-controlled parts of Zaporizhia, said the head of the military administration, Vladimir Rogov. Everything is ready, “in the next few days” can be coordinated, said Rogow.
Ukraine wants to respond with violence
After the announcement of the referenda, the Ukraine announced a violent response on their part. “Ukraine will clarify the Russian question. The threat can only be averted with violence,” said the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, on Tuesday on the messenger service Telegram.
The announcement of the referenda is one “Blackmail” by Moscowwhich is driven by the “fear of defeat” in view of the Ukrainian gains in territory.
The Ukrainian head of administration for Luhansk, Serhij Hajdaj, suspected to the broadcaster Radio Svoboda that the annexation of the areas to Russia would be the reason for a general mobilization should deliver, because: According to Moscow’s interpretation, the recapture of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk would then in turn be an attack on Russian state territory.
Referendums are met with sharp criticism in the West
Meanwhile, the announced referendums aroused much international criticism. It is “very clear that these sham referendums cannot be accepted,” said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Tuesday on the fringes of the UN general debate in New York. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a “further escalation” in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The White House said the US would “never” recognize Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s territories.
The National Security Advisor White House, Jake Sullivan, condemned the planned votes as “an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity”. The US would “never recognize Russia’s claims to any allegedly annexed parts of Ukraine,” he said.
The French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized the announcement as a “parody”. It is “another provocation” by Moscow, “which has no effect on our position,” Maron said on Tuesday on the fringes of the UN General Assembly in New York. He will talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about it “in the coming days”.
“The idea of organizing referendums in regions that have experienced war, that have suffered bombing, is cynical,” Macron said before he was due to deliver his speech to the UN General Assembly.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of a clear violation of the United Nations Charter. “We will never recognize Russia’s attempt to legitimize its illegal and brutal occupation of Ukrainian territories,” said von der Leyen on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York at the request of the German Press Agency.
“The intention to move Ukraine’s borders is completely unacceptable and a clear violation of the UN Charter and Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” von der Leyen said.
Estonian Prime Minister condemns “fake referendums”
Prime Minister of Estonia Kaya Kallas strongly condemns Russia’s plan. Estonia will never recognize the “fake referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine,” wrote the head of the Baltic country on Twitter.
The votes announced by the Russian military administration are “the occupiers’ playbook in action,” said the prime minister of the EU and NATO country. Ukraine has every right to take back the territory attacked by Russia. “Donbass, Crimea, Kherson = all Ukraine,” wrote the head of government.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu called the planned vote “fake”. The EU must recognize the “People’s Republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine terrorist organizations classify, according to the minister on Twitter. Like Kallas, he also calls for more sanctions against Russia. (pcl/dpa/AFP)
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