December 7, 2022

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By the final day of the Russian referendum on the annexation of Ukrainian territories | the world

That poll Russia The attempt to annex 15% of Ukrainian territory will end this Tuesday (27).

Voting began on Friday in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces in the eastern and southern regions. Ukraine.

Ukraine and the West call the referendum a farce and cannot recognize the result.

The Russian government says it wants to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect the country’s Russian-speaking communities.

The Ukrainian government and Western countries describe the conflict as a war against Ukraine.

A military vote in a referendum in Luhansk, an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr ZelenskyHe said the military situation in Donetsk, one of the four regions where the vote was held, was difficult.

“We are doing everything to control the activity of the enemy. This is now our first target, because Donbass (eastern Ukraine) is still the first target for the aggressors,” he said.

Last week, leaders of the pro-Russian occupation lined up to call for referendums on joining Russia.

Russian officials stationed in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which Putin recognized as independent shortly before the war, asked for votes.

Over the weekend, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would use any weapon in its arsenal to defend any territory it annexed.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that the US would respond to the use of Russian nuclear weapons and “know exactly what that means”.

Asked about Sullivan’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there are channels for dialogue to address these issues.

Decisive week in the Russian legislature

The TASS news agency published a report last week that said the Russian parliament could discuss a bill on annexing parts of Ukraine as early as Thursday.

Another agency, RIA Novosti, has already said that Putin may prepare to deliver a speech at the legislative session on Friday.

Who controls the territories?

Today, none of the provinces in question are fully under Moscow’s control. Fighting continues along the entire front line, and Ukrainian forces are reporting further advances since defeating Russian troops in Kharkiv province earlier this month.

The exiled mayor of the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol in the Zaporizhia region accused Russia of forcibly conscripting Ukrainian men from the occupied territories into its armed forces and denounced the referendum as a farce.

Ukrainian Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russian-backed officials, accompanied by security officers, would take ballot boxes door-to-door and name residents if they did not vote as required.

Moscow says voting is voluntary and turnout is high. He announced that 97% of the people voted for annexation in a referendum in Crimea after annexing the peninsula in 2014.

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