Saturday, November 26, 2022

To ask Putin to annex the occupied Ukrainian territories

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KYIV, Ukraine (TN) — Russian-established officials in Ukraine’s occupied territories said Wednesday they would ask President Vladimir Putin to join them in Russia, a day after claiming that their residents were Kremlin-orchestrated Such a move was widely supported in votes. illegitimate.

The predetermined outcome sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in Russia’s seven-month war, with the Kremlin threatening to throw more troops into the war and potentially use nuclear weapons.

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The referendum asked residents whether they wanted the four occupied southern and eastern Ukraine regions to be included in Russia, beginning on 23 September, with often armed officials going door-to-door to collect votes.

Pro-Moscow officials in the eastern Luhansk region and the partly-occupied southern region of Zaporizhzhya said they would make the request on Wednesday. The Russian-backed administration of the neighboring Kherson region said such a request to Putin would be made “in the coming days”.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, said that “any merger in the modern world is a crime, a crime against all states that consider border violence to be important to themselves.”

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Separatist officials in the Donetsk region, large swaths of which are still under Ukrainian control, are also expected to follow suit.

According to Russian-founded election officials, 93% of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhya region supported the merger, as did 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk.

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Kyiv and its Western allies dismissed the vote as a sham. Zelensky said Russia’s attempts to annex Ukraine’s territory would mean “this president of Russia has nothing to talk about.”

As the Kremlin paved the way for annexation of the occupied lands, its troops continued to shell out other areas of the country.

Authorities in Ukraine’s southern city of Nikopol say Russian rockets and artillery ravaged the city overnight. The city, across the Dnieper River from Russian-occupied territory, which includes the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, saw 10 high-rise buildings and private buildings as well as a school, power lines and other areas, said Valentin Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region. .

Reznichenko said there were no immediate casualties from the attacks.

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, which is partly occupied by Moscow, Russian fire has killed five people and injured 10 others in the past 24 hours, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrilenko said.


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