The pro-Russian authorities launch the referendums for the accession of four Ukrainian regions, while kyiv and the West condemn these consultations as illegal. Some votes that start when it is about to be seven months since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring country and after his announcement of a new mobilization of reservists.
Thus, it is expected that the votes will be held from this Friday and until Tuesday in Donetsk and Luganskwhose independence recognized Moscow on the eve of the war, but also in the occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia. Areas that, together, represent around 15% of the territory of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government and its Western allies, meanwhile, have denounced the illegal nature of these plebisciteswho consider the prelude to an illegal annexation of said territories.
a trick query
Thus, Mijailo Podolyak, adviser to President Volodímir Zelenski, has asserted that “no legal act called a referendum” is taking place in the occupied territories, but a “propaganda show”. The Ministry for the Reintegration of the Occupied Territories, for its part, has warned that those involved in its celebration will be put on trial if they fall into the hands of the Ukrainian authorities.
The Ukrainian governor of Lugansk, Serhiy Gaidai, has branded the referendum “elections without elections” and has denounced that in Starobilsk has prohibited the population from leaving the city, while armed groups have been sent to search homes and coerce citizens into voting. Gaidai has also claimed that, in Bilovodsk, a company director has told his employees that voting is compulsory, under threat of being fired and denounced if they refuse to do so.
Also President Joe Biden, the UNthe NATOthe European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have denounced the fraudulent nature of these votes. For his part, the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, has stressed from New York that “an illegal invasion cannot be covered up with illegal referendums“.
A justification for using nuclear weapons
Meanwhile, Russia practically takes a favorable result for annexation for granted: the president of the Russian Federation Council -the Upper House of the country’s Parliament-, Valentina Matvienko, highlighted this Friday that the body will take “as soon as possible” all measures for accession of the occupied regions.
“I am sure that the referendums will be held in a way that no one will have reason to question their legitimacy,” she said, adding that the Federation Council “will not hesitate” to support the results if they lead to annexation. “From a legal and technical point of view, the procedure is extremely clear. We have it figured out. Everything that is necessary from our side will happen as soon as possible“, has held.
For his part, former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, vice president of the Russian Security Council, has warned that, with the annexation of these regions, Moscow will consider any attack against them an attack on Russian territory, which will allow you to use “all self-defense forces” at their fingertips, including nuclear weapons.
In this sense, the Russian historian and sociologist Elena Bogush He already warned that Thursday in Al Rojo Vivo that, after the referendum, these territories “are going to be considered part of Russian territory” and stressed that Putin has already warned that “can use nuclear weapons when there is a threat to Russian sovereignty”an analysis that you can listen to in this video: