Home News Occupied regions in Ukraine announce referendums to join Russia

Occupied regions in Ukraine announce referendums to join Russia


With the Crimean referendum in memory of Kremlin wants to repeat the modus operandi used in 2014 in the peninsula to enlarge the territory of the largest country in the world. The different occupied regions by his troops in eastern and southern Ukraine have announced this Tuesday immediate plans for vote on its annexation to Russia, a maneuver telegraphed for months that comes in the midst of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and that could be the prelude to an escalation of the conflict. Plebiscites are contemplated in the eastern provinces of Lugansk Y Donetskas well as the southern Kherson Y Zaporizhia, the latter, only partially occupied by Russian troops. If nothing goes wrong, voting will start on September 23 and will end on September 27 of that same month.

The escalation potential military has not been slow to be confirmed by the former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedevwho has presented the plebiscites as an exercise in “historical justice” to return to Russia territories that were an integral part of the Soviet Union. “Invading the territory of Russia is a crime and if it is committed, it allows you to use all the forces of legitimate defense,” said the current vice president of the Security Council. Medvedev added that “with the integration of new territories” in Russia, “the geopolitical transformation of the world will be irreversible.”

Hours before knowing the call, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had stated in an interview on PBS that Russia must leave the occupied territories to achieve a “peace agreement”, before noting that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “wants to end this as soon as possible”. Erdogan and Putin have met three times this summer and have forged new avenues of collaboration.

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The announcements have come gradually. In Kherson he has been the head of the civil-military administration of the region, Vladimir Balance, the one in charge of airing the plans. “Having considered the requests of public organizations and residents of the region, the leaders of the Kherson region administration they have decided to hold a referendum to incorporate the region into the Russian Federation,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. Saldo said he had no doubts that the Kremlin will accept the result, a result that he seems to take for granted. “The Kherson region will become part of Russia, becoming a full-fledged subject of the country.”

In the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republiclocated in Donbas, the leader of the separatist forces, Dennis Pishilin, has presented the referendum as a mechanism to “restore historical justice” for the local population. “They have earned the right to be part of the great country that they always considered their motherland,” Pishilin said. The outcome of the referendums is bound to not be recognized by the bulk of the international community, as happened in its day with the annexation of Crimea.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has described them as “a farce” and has said that his country will not give up the occupied territories. “Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will continue to liberate them regardless of what Russia has to say,” Kuleba said.

“If using their freedom of expression, they – Donbass residents – want to be part of Russia, we will give them our support. And they must understand that we expect them to express their will freely,” said the Russian Duma spokesman. (Low camera), Vyacheslav Volodin, in statements to the TASS agency.

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support from abroad

From Lugansk, the Russian ambassador in this unrecognized state, Rodion Miroshnik, downplayed the position that they can adopt West. “We are not interested in the attitude of Western countries towards our processes, because they have already shown it on the battlefield,” but he did value the potential support of “the BRICS” (an acronym for emerging countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

The Kremlin recognizes the importance of having support outside its borders. With the annexation of Crimea, the international community did not recognize these votes as clean and today most states in the world consider this peninsula as part of Ukraine. However, a few countries did recognize their declaration of independence and its subsequent referendum to become part of the Russian Federation. Among the states that supported Moscow are a dozen, including allies such as Belarus, NicaraguaNorth Korea, VenezuelaCuban and Syriaamong others.

“The logic behind these (plebiscites) would be to illegally integrate these territories to discourage Ukraine from attacking them, since, from the Russian point of view, it would mean attacking Russia,” says military analyst Denys Kolesnyk. Kolensnyk believes that this assumption “is ridiculous since the Ukrainian army has already attacked the Russian region of Belgorod and nothing has changed, both countries maintain a de facto state of war.”

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