Ukraine ‘sham’ referendum outcomes level to Russia annexation By Reuters


© Reuters. A girl says goodbye to a reservist drafted throughout partial mobilisation, earlier than his departure for a navy base, within the metropolis of Bataysk, within the Rostov area, Russia September 26, 2022. REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov


By Man Faulconbridge and Jonathan Landay

LONDON/ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (Reuters) -Russian-installed officers in 4 occupied areas of Ukraine reported big majorities of votes in favour of becoming a member of Russia as the US deliberate a U.N. decision condemning the referendums as shams and Russia remained defiant.

The USA was additionally making ready a brand new spherical of sanctions in opposition to Russia ought to it annex Ukrainian territory and a $1.1 billion arms bundle for Ukraine that will probably be introduced quickly, U.S. officers stated.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken stated the US and its allies remained dedicated to European power safety, after Germany, Sweden and Denmark stated assaults prompted main leaks from two Russian power pipelines. It remained removed from clear who is likely to be behind the leaks.

Rapidly organized votes happened over 5 days within the jap areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson to the south, that collectively make up about 15% of Ukrainian territory.

Vote tallies from full outcomes on Tuesday within the 4 provinces ranged from 87% to 99.2% in favour of becoming a member of Russia, based on Russia-appointed officers. The top of the higher home of the Russian parliament stated the chamber may contemplate annexation on Oct. 4.

“The outcomes are clear. Welcome dwelling, to Russia!,” Dmitry Medvedev, a former president who serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Safety Council and an ally of President Vladimir Putin, stated on Telegram.

Inside the occupied territories, Russian-installed officers took poll packing containers from home to deal with in what Ukraine and the West stated was an illegitimate, coercive train to create a authorized pretext for Russia to annex the 4 areas.

“This farce within the occupied territories can not even be known as an imitation of a referendum,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated in video handle late on Tuesday.

The USA will introduce a decision on the U.N. Safety Council calling on member states to not recognise any change to Ukraine and obligating Russia to withdraw its troops, U.S. envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated.

“Russia’s sham referenda, if accepted, will open a pandora’s field that we can not shut,” she stated at a council assembly.

Russia has the flexibility to veto a decision within the Safety Council, however Thomas-Greenfield stated that might immediate the US to take the problem to the U.N. Normal Meeting.

“Any referenda held underneath these situations, on the barrel of a gun, can by no means be remotely near free or honest,” Britain’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador James Kariuki stated.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, informed the assembly that the referendums have been carried out transparently and according to electoral norms.

“This course of goes to proceed if Kyiv doesn’t recognise its errors and its strategic errors and would not begin to be guided by the pursuits of its personal folks and never blindly perform the need of these people who find themselves enjoying them,” he stated.

If Russia annexes the 4 Ukrainian areas, Putin might painting any Ukrainian try to recapture them as an assault on Russia itself.

Putin stated final week he was keen to make use of nuclear weapons to defend the “territorial integrity” of Russia.

However Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskiy, informed Reuters that Kyiv wouldn’t be swayed by nuclear threats or by the annexation votes, and would press on with plans to retake all territory occupied by invading Russian forces.

He stated Ukrainians who helped organise the referendums would face treason costs and not less than 5 years in jail. Ukrainians who have been pressured to vote wouldn’t be punished.


The brand new U.S. arms bundle will embody HIMARS launcher programs, accompanying munitions, numerous sorts of counter drone programs and radar programs, together with spares, coaching and technical assist, a supply briefed on the plan stated.

Russia once more warned the US in opposition to arming Ukraine.

“In instigating Kiev to proceed utilizing the navy tools obtained from the West, Washington doesn’t realise the riskiness of its actions … Our steps to defend the Fatherland will probably be agency and decisive,” Russia’s U.S. envoy Anatoly Antonov stated on the embassy’s Telegram channel.

Diplomats say the nuclear sabre-rattling is an try by Russia to scare the West into decreasing its assist for Ukraine.

Not one of the 4 areas which held referendums is totally underneath Russia’s management, with Ukrainian forces reporting extra advances since they routed Russian troops in a fifth province, Kharkiv, this month.

Zelenskiy stated the Donetsk area within the east remained his nation’s – and Russia’s – high strategic precedence, with “notably extreme” preventing engulfing a number of cities.

The final workers of Ukraine’s navy stated late on Tuesday that Russian forces had shelled seven cities in Donetsk.The navy stated 20 cities within the Zaporizhzhia area in south-central Ukraine and 35 cities and villages within the Kherson area within the south have been additionally hit.

Leonid Pasechnik, a separatist chief of Luhansk, stated on Telegram three municipal gasoline employees have been killed and one wounded by Ukrainian shelling in Brianka.

“The missiles provided by NATO international locations are killing unarmed youngsters, girls, aged folks and municipal utility employees,” he stated.

Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm battlefield studies.

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