Four regions of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces were planning to hold referendums on their annexation of Russia . The West has labelled the votes illegitimate and a precursor to pro-Russian partition .
KYIV: On Friday, four regions of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces were planning to hold referendums on their annexation of Russia, votes that the West has labelled as illegitimate and a precursor to pro-Russian partition.On Tuesday, Russian-installed leaders announced plans for the ballots, a development that might significantly escalate the conflict.The conclusions are seen as a foregone conclusion in favor of annexation, and Ukraine and its allies have stated that they do not accept the results.From Friday to Tuesday, voting in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia provinces, which cover approximately 15% of Ukraine's territory, will begin.Pro-Moscow officials had been working on the referendums for months, but Ukraine's latest victories sparked a scramble to schedule them.Moscow seems to be trying to regain control of the conflict after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced this week that a military draft would send 300,000 troops to combat in Ukraine.Russia claims that it is a means for people in the region to express their opinion.We said from the start of the operation that the peoples of the respective territories should control their destiny, and the overall situation shows that they want to be rulers of their destiny, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Moscow could justify military escalation as necessary to protect its territory by incorporating the four areas into Russia.In an apparent reference to nuclear weapons, Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would use all of us have to defend itself.This is not a bluff, he said.According to a Telegram post, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president from 2008 to 2012, encroachment on Russian territory is a crime that permits you to use all of self-defense tactics. The vote in Crimea in 2014, which was chastised internationally for being fake, had a official result of 97 percent in favour of formal annexation.According to Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai, if this is all Russian territory, they can express that this is a direct assault on Russia and press on without reservations.The referendums have been chastised by international figures, including US President Joe Biden, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as Nato, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).The sham referendums are illegal and illegitimate, NATO said on Thursday. There will be no independent observers, and a substantial portion of the pre-war population has retreated.Russia has also declared Luhansk and Donetsk, which make up the Donbas region that Moscow partially occupied in 2014, to be independent states.Both Ukraine and the West consider all areas of Ukraine be illegally occupied by Russian forces.Russia does not fully control any of the four regions, with only about 60% of Donetsk's land in Russian hands. According to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, any action taken by the Russian leadership would do nothing good for Ukraine.The tasks in front of us are strictly of concern to us.This is the liberation of our country, defending our people and mobilising world support (public opinion) to accomplish these missions.Putin claims that Russia is carrying out a special military operation to demilitarise Ukraine, depose dangerous nationalists, and protect Russia from Nato. According to regional governor Oleksander Starukh, Russian forces assaulted several towns on Thursday, including Zaporizhzhia, which was hit by about 10 shells.There were no reports of injuries on the day.Russian mortar bombs killed two people and wounded six others in Toretsk town in the Donetsk region, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor office.Ukrainian assaults were condemned by Donetsk's head of Russian-backed rebels as cynical barbarian shelling aimed at inflicting maximum harm on civilians. We've been waiting a long time for it.We were hoping of it.And it will happen.It's actually happening.