Berlusconi says Putin was ‘pushed’ to invade Ukraine
Russian annexation referendums started on Friday in areas of Ukraine wholly or partly managed by Moscow. Polls described as “simulacra” by kyiv and the West and which mark an escalation of the battle.
These votes, which started at 06:00 (Swiss time), have to be held till September 27 within the pro-Russian separatist areas of Donetsk and Lugansk (east), and in areas below Russian occupation within the areas of Kherson and Zaporizhya (south). ), in full invasion of Ukraine by Moscow.
These elections, introduced at first of the week and arranged in haste, had been strongly denounced by the Ukrainian authorities and its Western supporters, who accuse Moscow of taking management of entire swaths of territory, just like the Crimean peninsula. (south) in 2014.
If the results of these referendums is past doubt, they announce in any case an escalation of the battle, Moscow going as far as to threaten nuclear strikes to defend what it considers to be “its” territory.
“Holding this referendum is a historic step… We’re going residence!” stated the chief of the pro-Russian separatist area of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, in a video posted Friday morning on Telegram.
Whereas the preventing remains to be raging, the electoral physique of the separatists in Donetsk indicated that “for safety causes” the poll can be organized primarily door-to-door for 4 days, the polling stations opening “solely on final day”, i.e. September 27.
Thus, 450 and 461 polling stations shall be opened respectively within the area of Donetsk and Lugansk, to the east. Zaporizhia could have 394 and the Kherson area within the south 198.
A number of polling stations have additionally opened in Russia to permit the vote of “refugees” who fled the preventing, in keeping with Russian information companies.
These votes, on the mannequin of the one which formalized the annexation of the Crimean peninsula (south) by Russia in 2014, have been the topic of preparations for a number of months, however the timetable appears to have accelerated with the counter- Ukrainian offensive which pressured the Russian military to retreat within the northeast of the nation.
Residents of the pro-Russian separatist areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have already declared their “independence”, should resolve whether or not or not they need to be a part of Russia.
Within the areas of Kherson and Zaporizhia, partially occupied by Russian forces, the query is requested: “Do you need to secede from Ukraine, create impartial states and turn out to be a part of Russia?”
The speaker of the decrease home of the Russian Parliament (Duma), Vyacheslav Volodin, on Friday urged his “compatriots” – the pro-Russians of Ukraine – to “select to combine Russia”. “We are going to help you,” he stated.
A turning level
Even when the annexation of those 4 areas will not be acknowledged by the worldwide neighborhood, it should mark a turning level within the offensive that Russia has been main in Ukraine since February 24.
Tuesday’s hasty announcement of those “referendums” comes as Moscow, which is struggling to regain management in Ukraine after struggling a collection of setbacks, has taken the choice to throw extra forces into the battle.
On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin thus decreed a partial mobilization of Russians of preventing age which is able to concern not less than 300,000 individuals.
Accusing Westerners of desirous to “destroy” Russia, he additionally threatened to make use of “all means”, together with nuclear, statements which had been strongly condemned by the USA and the European Union.
“Gasoline on the Hearth”
Even China, near Moscow, appeared to distance itself after the announcement of referendums, calling for respect for the territorial integrity of States.
Russia additionally discovered itself within the dock on the UN Safety Council, the place US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken led the cost on Thursday denouncing the current escalation.
“That President Putin selected this week, when many of the world’s leaders collect on the UN, so as to add gas to the hearth he began demonstrates his utter disregard for the UN Constitution. “, he stated, refusing to satisfy his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
“We won’t let President Putin get away with it,” he stated on the assembly convened by the French presidency.
Mr. Lavrov, current within the Council room the place he additionally delivered a speech, had not been seated on the similar desk as the opposite ministers, being changed by a deputy.
In Russia, the announcement of the mobilization induced an inflow of Russians wishing to go away the nation, with none figures being accessible.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday night urged Russians to “protest” in opposition to the mobilization, saying that Moscow was making ready to boost “as much as one million males”.
This text has been printed mechanically. Sources: ats / afp
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