Russia Begins Referendum In Four Occupied Ukrainian Provinces

Russia Begins Referendum In Four Occupied Ukrainian Provinces

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September 26, 2022 - 6:52 am

Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, And Kherson Under Russian Control


Unpopular Russian referendums have started in the Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, which make up around 15% of the country's total area and some of which are only partially under Russian control. The voting is viewed as a fraud because it will almost certainly favour Moscow and is against both Ukrainian and international law. However, it might open the door for the Russian Federation to annex the regions and admit them. Additionally, the referendums could be used by Russia to falsely claim that any move by Ukrainian forces to recover territory constitutes an attack on its own country, sparking a sharp uptick in the seven-month conflict. Up until September 27, there will be five days for voting.

    

Ukraine Reaction Towards Referendum                                         

Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine saw staged voting in referendums begin on Friday, and Ukrainians there expressed a mixture of rage, defiance, and dread that their country was being stolen by force in what they dubbed a sham vote. The purpose of the hurriedly convened referendums, which were backed by pro-Russian citizens and their proxies, was clear: to offer Russian President Vladimir V. Putin a legally fictitious justification to annex their nation. They also brought back memories of the staged elections that took place in Crimea in 2014, which were quickly followed by Russia's takeover of the peninsula.

              

Dramatic Escalation                                    

After a swift Ukraine counteroffensive regained large sections of land in northeastern Kharkiv that Russia had conquered after invading the country on February 24, the four districts' newly installed Russian authorities hastily announced the plans on Tuesday. In a comparable poll, which was held in Crimea in the aftermath of the Russian invasion in 2014 and was not recognised by the international community, 97% of voters approved official annexation. Because incorporation would allow Moscow to claim that it was protecting its own territory, the votes are considered as a dramatic escalation of the seven-month-old war in Ukraine, wherein millions of people have been displaced and thousands have died.


World’s Opinion on Referendum

The United Nations, world leaders, including US Vice President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as international organisations like NATO, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have all denounced the referendums (OSCE). According to the OSCE, which is watching the elections, the results won't be legally binding since they don't adhere to Ukrainian law or international standards and because fighting is still taking place in the voting districts.

                                                       

Plans after Official Annexation

The idea is that once the annexation is official, rebels from Donetsk and Luhansk will be able to enlist in the Russian military. Moscow does plan to recruit volunteers in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, though. Russia may employ "all the forces of self-defence" if the additional areas were annexed. That was taken by many observers as a threat to use nuclear weapons. However, last month's Ukrainian strike on a Russian military airport in the Crimean peninsula that Russia had annexed did not result in a prompt Russian reaction. The initial Russian plan to conduct what was supposed to be a peaceful election has been abandoned.

                                                        

Favour and Against in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine

In the current atmosphere in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, there are no credible statistics. In a poll conducted in 2019 for the Berlin Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), less than half, or roughly 45%, of those living in the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk supported Pros and cons. At the time, 27% of respondents in the two areas favoured an autonomous status, while 54% backed reunification with Ukraine. The referendum comes as Moscow tries to gain an upper hand in Ukraine, where it has suffered humiliating defeats in recent weeks. It also comes as Putin seeks to change the way the war is seen: it’s not aggression, but defending the country.



Questions and Answers Questions and Answers

Question : What is the percentage of Ukraine's total area that the four regions under control of Russia make up?
Answers : The four regions under control of Russia make up around 15% of the country's total area.
Question : What was the result of the referendums in the Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine?
Answers : 97% of voters approved of official annexation.
Question : What is the OSCE?
Answers : The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is an international organization that promotes democracy and human rights.
Question : Why did Russia not react to the Ukrainian strike on a Russian military airport in the Crimean peninsula?
Answers : One possible reason is that the initial Russian plan was to conduct a peaceful election, which has since been abandoned.
Question : What does the poll reveal about people's views in the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk?
Answers : People are divided on whether to support Russia's annexation or reunification with Ukraine, with a slight majority in favor of the latter.
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