World

What to know about Russia’s plans to stage referendums in Ukraine


Moscow-backed officials in the occupied regions of Ukraine have announced plans to hold a “referendum” this week from Friday to Tuesday, on the prospect of Russia’s participation. These moves represent an escalation in Russia’s apparent plan to annex Ukrainian territories.

The upcoming elections, which will not be free and fair, and which will be illegal under Ukrainian and international law, will form the basis for Russia to officially take over Ukrainian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the orchestrated votes and announced on Wednesday partial military mobilization up to 300,000 people pre-booked. The announcements show a renewed willingness from Putin to escalate the seven-month war, after losing a key position to Ukrainian counterintelligence agencies in northeastern Ukraine.

Western officials have dismissed them as a hoax. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, President Biden accused Russia of “extremely serious” violations of the UN charter. And analysts warn that annexing these territories could allow Moscow to view Ukraine’s attacks on those regions as attacks on Russia itself, increasing the risk of a retaliatory nuclear strike. .

Here’s what we know about Russia’s annexation plans and their impact on Ukraine and its allies.

Russia moves to annex Ukrainian regions in a major escalation

What do we know about Russia’s plan to hold a referendum in the regions of Ukraine?

In nearly synchronized announcements, officials in the self-declared “republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine and in the occupied Kherson region in the south on Tuesday said they would held a “referendum” from September 23 to September 27 on joining Russia. A vote to be held will also be held on the same day in areas of Zaporizhzhia controlled by Russian forces – including Enerhodar, where Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant is located.


Organization area

by Russia-

backing

secessionists

before

February 20, 2022

annexed by Russia

in 2014

Controlled areas as of September 21

Source: Institute for the Study of War, AEI’s Serious Threats Project

Territories of Ukraine

through counterargument

Organization area

by Russia-

backing

secessionists

before

February 20, 2022

annexed by Russia

in 2014

Controlled areas as of September 21

Source: Institute for the Study of War, AEI’s Serious Threats Project

Territories of Ukraine

through counterargument

Organization area

by Russia-

backing

secessionists

before

February 20, 2022

annexed by Russia

in 2014

Controlled areas as of September 21

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Overall, the Russian-occupied areas set to hold elections this month account for nearly 15 percent of Ukraine’s total territory, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

The Russian occupation authorities have for months said they would hold such votes. But plans were accelerated after Ukraine’s military victory this month. Separatist officials in eastern Ukraine Urgent Monday pleas measures that would allow Moscow to immediately annex territories.

Moscow recognized the breakaway regions as independent before the invasion in February, and Russian-backed authorities took administrative measures – including converting to Russian rubles and distributing Russian passports – to bring the people of occupied Ukraine closer to Russia. The merger would formalize Moscow’s control.

In July, the United States warned that Russia was taking steps toward annexing parts of Ukraine, and that Moscow’s plan would likely include calling for “sham” votes.

“Russia is starting to roll out a version of what you might call a takeover play,” said White House spokesman John Kirby.

That book was honed in Crimea, which was illegally invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014. The Black Sea Peninsula was part of independent Ukraine for more than two decades.

It’s not clear exactly how staged voting will work. Denis Pushilin, the pro-Moscow leader of Donetsk, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti that election officials would go door to door, and people could also vote in “public spaces” designated point. On the final day, residents will be able to vote at the polling booths.

However, the outcome is predetermined. If the referendum being held in Crimea is any indication, the vote will take place under armed protection or pressure from pro-Russian officials without worthy international observers. trust. The entire process will be under the control of the Russian government and the occupying forces. Official results in Crimea in 2014: 97% of voters were said to be in favor of joining Russia.

What is Moscow’s strategy?

The rapid mobilization of Russian-backed officials around the annexation comes after Ukrainian counter-forces recaptured large swaths of northeastern Ukraine that Russian forces had seized earlier in the war.

Natalia Savelyeva, a fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, said the “referendum” plan announced this week appeared to mark a “new phase of the war”. “They are a sign that the Russian regime is not very comfortable.”

Russian hardliners have demanded a tougher approach to the war, and they cheered calls for merger this week.

Russia’s military control over the areas it occupies is shaken, and fake referendums are seen as a political tool to fulfill a military objective to secure its hold. of Moscow.

The idea, says Savelyeva, is to create an excuse in favor of people to justify further military action. For Putin and his supporters, the appearance of the person with legal authority to make decisions remains important.

Some analysts have voiced alarm that the planned referendums signal Putin’s willingness to pursue a path of escalation.

Tatiana Stanovaya, an analyst with political consulting firm R.Politik, said in a Telegram post that the impending votes constitute “preparations for an all-out war” and mergers , “a clear ultimatum from Russia to Ukraine and the West: Either Ukraine withdraw or nuclear war”.

In an unashamed mention of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, on Wednesday, Mr Putin threatened to “use all means at our disposal” to defend Russian territory, as he had planned. meaning about it. “This is not a hoax,” he said.

How did Ukraine and its allies react?

Ukraine and Western countries have not recognized the annexation of Crimea nor do they intend to recognize any absorption of other illegal annexed regions to Russia.

“Russia was and still is an aggressor illegally occupying parts of Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, its NATO allies escalate Russia’s apparent plans for annexation and military mobilization.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “The United States will never recognize Russia’s claim of intentional annexation of territory.” US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink called the announced measures “a sign of weakness”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg criticized the planned referendums as illegitimate and called for increased support for Ukraine. The European Union threatens consequences for Russia.

The Kremlin’s moves come as world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate in New York. At Tuesday’s opening session, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Russia “must see that it cannot impose its will militarily”, even if there are “pretend referendums in the territories have been bombed and continue to be occupied.” Biden on Wednesday criticized Russia’s moves.

It remains to be seen what additional support – military or otherwise – the countries can provide Ukraine. National Security Officials in the Biden Administration pointed out last month that the United States will continue to support Ukraine’s military if it tries to retake territory illegally annexed by Russia.

Biden, meanwhile, warned Putin last weekend against using nuclear weapons. “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t,” he said on the CBS news program “60 Minutes.” “It will change the landscape of war unlike anything since World War II.”

The referendums are unlikely to slow down Ukraine’s military agenda. “There are strong incentives for Ukraine to continue attacking this territory,” said Dara Massicot, senior policy researcher at Rand Corp. “The Russian military is currently at its weakest point. “

Robyn Dixon of Riga, Latvia, Karoun Demirjian of Washington, Emily Rauhala of Brussels and Annabelle Timsit of London contributed to this report.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

Latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial deployment” of the military in a speech to the nation on September 21, seeing the move as an attempt to defend Russia’s sovereignty against a West seeking to using Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Our Watch Live updates here.

The struggle: A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive has forced Russia into a major retreat in the northeastern region of Kharkiv in recent days, as troops flee the cities and villages they have occupied since the early days of the conflict. war and give up large amounts of military equipment.

The annexation referendums: Organized referendums, which would be illegal under international law, will take place from September 23 to 27 in the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to news agencies Russia. Another organized referendum will be held by the Moscow-appointed administration in Kherson starting Friday.

Picture: Washington Post photographers were present from the very beginning of the war – here are some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways that people in America can help the people of Ukraine as what people around the world have donated.

Read our full range of The Russian-Ukrainian Crisis. Are you on Telegram? Please subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive videos.





Source link

news7d

News 7D: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, Sports...at the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button