On September 23-27, “referenda” will be held in four areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces. The inhabitants are to answer the question whether they want the territories of these oblasts to become part of the Russian Federation.
“Referenda” in Ukraine
Russia’s action is widely condemned by Western states as illegal and as a precursor to illegal annexation. Voting is illegal under international law, which prohibits such practices under occupation.
Pro-Russian leaders in the occupied regions on Tuesday announced plans to hold votes that could aggravate the conflict rapidly. The results are predicted to favor annexation. Ukraine and its supporters stressed that they would not recognize the results.
The territory of Ukraine in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts constitutes about 15 percent of the territory of Ukraine.
The leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance published a statement in which it assured that all NATO countries “condemn plans to hold so-called referenda. Fictitious referenda have no legitimacy and will be a gross violation of the United Nations Charter. These lands belong to Ukraine.”
Mobilization – protests and detentions
Let us remind you that a partial universal military mobilization began in Russia on Wednesday.-
According to CNN on Thursday, the Russians are recruiting demonstrators who were arrested during protests against the war in Ukraine. After Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday “partial mobilization”, of the 1,300 detained, some were drafted directly into the army. Most arrests were in Moscow (around 500) and St. Petersburg (around 520).
Fearing riots, the Moscow prosecutor’s office warned citizens that participation in or disseminating information about protests was punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
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“There will be no more such errors.” Putin took the floor again