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Russia’s pseudo-referenda are ‘a crime against integrity of Ukraine’: Polish security official

29.09.2022 23:15
A senior Polish security official has said that illegal pseudo-referenda held by Russia in occupied parts of Ukraine "constitute a crime against the integrity of Ukraine.” 
Stanisław Żaryn
Stanisław ŻarynPAP/Paweł Supernak

Stanisław Żaryn made the statement in an interview with the Polish state news agency PAP on Thursday.

‘Another stage of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine’

Żaryn, who is the government’s pointman for the security of Poland’s information space, stated: “The pseudo-referendums held in the occupied territories of Ukraine are another stage of the military aggression conducted by Russia against Ukraine.”

He added: “Since February 2022, the Kremlin has been using military action to destroy the Ukrainian state and commit genocide against Ukrainians. It is now using administrative action to sanction Russia's occupation and annexation of parts of Ukraine.”

The Polish security official stressed that Russian authorities conducted pseudo-referenda to use them as a pretext to detach swathes of land from Ukraine. 

Żaryn said: “What we are dealing with is a continuation of warfare, though implemented with administrative tools. The Kremlin wants to announce in the near future the annexation to Russia of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. It will probably do so in entire administrative regions.”

Russia’s information warfare

Żaryn warned: “With another operation against Ukraine underway, Russia's constant information warfare is part of the war effort. Increasingly, Russia's information products and narrative are making their way into public opinion in the West.”

According to Żaryn, this can be seen in the way the sham referenda held by Russian-backed officials are depicted.

He told the PAP news agency: “Fictitious votes have nothing to do with the idea and principles of democratic elections. Nor are they an expression of the will of the people in the areas where they were held. Meanwhile, the way some media outlets are covering this propaganda show serves to give credence to the aims of its Kremlin directors.”

The Polish official warned that portraying “the pseudo-democratic, illegal electoral farce” as "typical plebiscites" in the democratic world, “works to the advantage of the regime officials responsible for the reprehensible actions.”

He added that the pseudo-referenda “are a propaganda spectacle designed to convince the Russian public that the people of the occupied territories of Ukraine want inclusion in the Russian Federation and that the 'special military operation' is succeeding.”

‘Crime against integrity of Ukraine’

Żaryn stressed that the sham referenda are “unacknowledged by anyone but Russia,” and “are illegal actions that constitute a crime against the integrity of Ukraine.”

He added: “However, they will be presented quite differently by Russian propaganda - as an expression of the 'will of the people' who 'want to join Russia.' This is a further element of aggression and Russia taking action on the basis of its own lies.”

Żaryn concluded: “This is why it is so important to use appropriate terms when describing the pseudo-referendums organised by the occupiers in Ukraine. The struggle for awareness and a true picture of Russian actions is part of the West's response to Russian aggression.”


Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions “completed their falsified annexation ‘referenda’ on September 27 and implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents," the Institute for the Study of War reported on Wednesday.

The UK Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would address both houses of the Russian parliament on September 30.

The British analysts added: “There is a realistic possibility that Putin will use his address to formally announce the accession of the occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

Meanwhile, Western countries, including Poland, have condemned the sham referenda and said they would never recognise their results.

Thursday was day 218 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, gov.plniezalezna.pl