“Referendums” in Ukraine continue: with guns in the hallway

action contrary to international law
With the gun in the hallway: “Referendums” in Ukraine continue – USA announce consequences of annexation

A member of a volunteer unit casts his vote in the Zaporizhia region

© Ria Novosti / Imago Images

They are neither free nor secret: the sham referendums in eastern Ukraine are in full swing. The first men from the affected areas have apparently already been drafted into the Russian military.

Despite fierce international protests, the second day of mock referendums on Russia’s accession has begun in Moscow-held Ukrainian territories. Russian state media again showed pictures of citizens at the ballot box on Saturday. The illegal votes in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and in Zaporizhia and Cherson in the south are scheduled for five days up to and including next Tuesday.

Forced to vote with a gun

Among other things, a video circulated on social networks that shows armed men in a hallway and is intended to document how the Russian occupiers are forcing local residents to vote.

The Ukrainian General Staff reportedin Cherson and Zaporizhia the first men received mobilization notices for the Russian army.

Last Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of his armed forces. Moscow has been distributing Russian passports in the conquered Ukrainian territories for months. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has therefore warned that the Kremlin will conscript these new Russians to fight against the Ukrainian army after the annexation of their homeland. “Hide by all means from the Russian mobilization,” he advised men in the occupied regions.

USA announce consequences of annexation of eastern Ukraine

With the help of the result, Russia wants to incorporate the areas and invokes the “right of self-determination of peoples”. Neither Ukraine nor the international community recognize the vote under occupying Russia. These are sham referendums because they are being held without Ukraine’s consent, under martial law and not according to democratic principles. Free work by international independent observers is also not possible.

+++ Read here: “Neither free nor secret – this is how the ‘referendums’ in eastern Ukraine actually take place” +++

Meanwhile, the US government has threatened Russia with economic sanctions in the event of an annexation of the occupied territories in Ukraine. “We will work with our allies and partners to quickly impose additional and harsh economic penalties on Russia,” it said in a statement from US President Joe Biden. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also announced sanctionsif Russia proceeds with the annexation of the territories.

In the statement, Biden described the votes as a “farce” and a false pretext for attempting to annex parts of Ukraine by force and in blatant violation of international law. “The US will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than a part of Ukraine,” it said.

The heads of state and government of the seven leading democratic economic powers (G7) had previously condemned the sham referendums in the strongest possible terms. The forced votes had no legitimacy, it said on Friday. In addition to Germany, the G7 also includes the USA, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.


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