Ukraine: annexation referendums by Russia urgently called | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine: annexation referendums by Russia called in an emergency | War in Ukraine

A man rides his motorcycle near a damaged house and a crater in the Donetsk region. Pro-Russian authorities announced on Tuesday that a referendum would be held for the region to be annexed by Russia.

Authorities installed by Moscow in several regions of Ukraine announced on Tuesday the urgent holding of annexation referendums by Russia from September 23 to 27, in the midst of the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The Ukrainian presidency has sworn to liquidate the Russian threat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with foreign diplomats and arms industry officials during the day, meaning he would stay the course.

Russian commentators have raised the specter of nuclear war if Russia annexes these territories and the Kremlin considers the war to be taking place on its soil.

The separatist powers of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions announced these votes, as did that of Kherson and Zaporijia (south). These elections, scheduled for this week, will take place as Ukraine enters its 8th month of war.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled that these fictitious referendums are not acceptable. The United States denounced sham elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, castigated before the United Nations General Assembly a return to the age imperialisms and colonies, shortly after calling the announced polls a parody.

These votes, on the model of the one which formalized the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea (south) by Russia in 2014, denounced by kyiv and the West, have been the subject of preparations for several months.

The timetable seems to have accelerated with the Ukrainian counter-offensive which forced the Russian army into a retreat in the northeast of the country. Russian officials previously mentioned the date of November 4, the day of Russian national unity.

Separatist leaders from Luhansk were the first to announce that the polls would take place this week, over four days from Friday.

They were followed by the separatist leader from Donetsk and heads of the occupation of Kherson and Zaporizhia. All called on Mr. Putin to recognize the results of the vote.

Ukraine warned on Tuesday that the Russian threat would be liquidated, with the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriï Yermak, denouncing Russian blackmail motivated by fear of defeat.

The head of diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba for his part assured that Ukraine would continue to liberate its lands.

These announcements come after the Russian setbacks at the beginning of September, when the Moscow army withdrew from the Kharkiv region in the face of pressure from kyiv forces, strong in supplies of Western weapons and equipment.

Russian diplomacy has also told the French ambassador in Moscow that the continuation of arms deliveries to Ukraine is unacceptable.

The Ukrainian army is also conducting a counter-offensive on the Kherson region in the south and another in the direction of the Luhansk region, which Moscow had conquered in its entirety in the spring of award for months of deadly battles.

kyiv thus hopes to retake the village of Bilogorivka, the conquest of which had cost Russia dearly in May, its forces having been decimated while trying to cross the Siverskiï Donets river there. Images of destroyed tanks had gone around the world.

Twenty kilometers away, from Siversk, Ukrainian artillery shelled Russian positions.

It hits very hard, Natalia, a grocer in this town, told AFP, in the morning we come out of the cellars, we see the burnt houses.

A house was flattened by shelling in Siversk.

In the village, exhausted Ukrainian artillerymen rest on their self-propelled gun, covered by a tree. We fired all night, we're going to leave to reload [en ammunition, NDLR] and come back afterwards, said one of them.

Mr. Putin, meeting with arms manufacturers and security officials on Tuesday, called for accelerating production capacities to deliver the necessary weapons to his army as soon as possible.

Receiving the credentials of new ambassadors, he insisted on the soundness of his sovereign foreign policy.

At the same time, the lower house of the Russian Parliament passed a text considerably toughening the prison sentences incurred by soldiers who surrender to the enemy, desert or commit looting.

On Tuesday morning, ex-president Dmitry Medvedev and current number two of the Russian Security Council had ruled that the annexation referendums would restore historical justice, because the Kremlin considers Ukraine to be historically Russian.< /p>

Encroaching on the territory of Russia is a crime and, if committed, it allows you to use all forces in self-defense, he said. he threatened.

According to independent Russian analyst Tatiana Stanovaya, the holding of these votes means that Putin wants to arrogate to himself the right to arrogate; use atomic weapons to defend Russian territory.

Margarita Simonian, the boss of the Russian television channel RT, judged that this week will either be the antechamber to our imminent victory or to nuclear war.

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