Voting begins in referendums called by pro-Russian authorities in several Ukrainian regions


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Putin assured that he would recognize the results in the face of a possible accession of these territories to Russia

Sep. 23 () –

The voting process in the referendums called in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and in the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporiyia, occupied by Russian forces in the framework of the invasion unleashed on February 24, to determine the possible accession to Russia has started early this Friday, despite the refusal of Ukraine and the international community to recognize the validity of the process.

Voting has started at 8.00 a.m. (7.00 a.m. in mainland Spain and Balearic Islands) and will last until 4.00 p.m., something that will also happen in the following days and until September 27, when the process will end. Russia has also opened polling stations in several cities so that refugees can go to vote.

Pro-Russian authorities in Kherson have said they expect 750,000 people to turn out to vote, while the census in Zaporiyia has 500,000 people, Russian news agency TASS has reported. In both cases, participants will have to answer one question: “Are you in favor of the region leaving Ukraine, creating an independent state and becoming part of Russia?”

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In the case of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk — whose independence was recognized by Russian President Vladimir Putin days before ordering the invasion of Ukharnia, voters will have to pronounce on whether they support “the republic’s entry into Russia as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation.”

Putin himself stated on Wednesday in an address to the nation in which he announced a “partial mobilization” of the population over the war in Ukraine that Moscow would recognize the outcome of these referendums. “We will do our best to provide safe conditions for referendums to be held and the population to express its will,” he said.

“We will support the decision on their future, which will be adopted by the majority of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporiyia and Kherson regions,” the Russian president outlined, who further warned that Russia could use “all means” in case of a “threat to Russian territorial integrity,” including nuclear weapons.

IN this line has expressed himself this same Friday the president of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, who has asked the population of these regions to “vote freely” and “not to fear anything.” “Make a decision to be a part of Russia. We will support you,” he noted in a message on his Telegram account in which he stressed that the residents of these areas of Ukraine “have the right to self-determination, provided for in the Charter of the United Nations.”

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“The European Union has made another threat to our country in connection with referendums. We are aware of our decisions and nothing frightens us. The EU did not notice the genocide of the inhabitants of the Donbas for eight years and did not think about their safety. It supported the regime in Kiev, which was shooting at civilians on a daily basis. Old people, women and children died,” he denounced.

For its part, the Ukrainian Parliament on Wednesday approved the declaration of inadmissibility of the referendums on accession to Russia proposed by the pro-Russian authorities in these regions. Crimea’s pro-Russian authorities already held a referendum on accession to Russia in 2014, the result of which legitimized Putin to annex the peninsula, a move not recognized by the international community.

Earlier on Thursday, NATO reaffirmed that it will not recognize the outcome of the vote, as it “lacks legitimacy” and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter. In this regard, the bloc launched a statement in which it called on “all states” to reject these attempts at “territorial conquest” by Russia, insisting that the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporiyia “are Ukraine.”


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