HomeLatest NewsRussia's annexation referendum has begun in occupied Ukraine, agencies say

Russia’s annexation referendum has begun in occupied Ukraine, agencies say

The referendums are reminiscent of a similar one in 2014 that annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by Russia.

The referendums are reminiscent of a similar one in 2014 that annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by Russia.

The referendum on annexation by Russia began on September 23, 2022 in the Ukrainian region controlled by Moscow, Russian news agencies reported, in what Kyiv and the West denounced as a “sham” vote.

Voting began at 0500 GMT on September 23, 2022 and was scheduled to end on Tuesday in four regions controlled in whole or in part by Russian troops — Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south.

Earlier, Moscow-controlled regions of Ukraine began voting on whether to become part of Russia, in a referendum that Kyiv and its allies condemned as an illegal land grab.

Referendums in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as southern Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, have been dismissed as frauds by Kiev’s western allies.

They come after Putin this week announced a mandatory troop call-up for some 300,000 reservists, sparking sharp condemnation in the West.

The mobilization comes after Ukrainian forces seized much of the northeastern Kharkiv region in a massive counteroffensive that has seen Kyiv recapture hundreds of towns and villages from Russian control for months.

The integration of the four regions with Russia – already a foregone conclusion for most observers – would represent a major new escalation of the conflict.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken railed against the referendum at a UN Security Council session on Thursday, saying, “We’re not going to let President Putin get away with it — we won’t.”

“The international order that we have gathered here to uphold is being dismantled before our eyes… (protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty) is about preserving an international order where no nation can forcefully redraw another’s borders,” he said. He said.

The referendums are reminiscent of a similar one in 2014 that annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by Russia.

Western capitals maintained that the vote was fraudulent and hit Moscow with sanctions in response.

In New York this week, Western leaders unanimously condemned the ballot and troop robbery, with French President Macron telling the UN General Assembly that the referendums were a “fraud”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov strongly condemned the allegations, accusing Ukraine of perpetrating “Russophobia”.

“Today there is an attempt to impose on us a completely different narrative about Russian aggression as the source of this tragedy,” Lavrov told the Security Council.

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