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Ukraine’s envoy to Poland slams Russia’s ‘sham referenda’

23.09.2022 18:05
The Ukrainian ambassador to Poland has condemned ‘annexation referenda’, held from Friday in four Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, as “another breach of international law by Russia.” 
Ambasador Ukrainy do Polaków: dzięki wsparciu możemy cieszyć się niepodległością i przybliżać nasze wspólne zwycięstwo
Ambasador Ukrainy do Polaków: dzięki wsparciu możemy cieszyć się niepodległością i przybliżać nasze wspólne zwycięstwoPAP/Radek Pietruszka

Vasyl Zvarych made the assessment in an interview with Polish state news agency PAP on Friday. 

'Another breach of international law'

The ambassador said that the plebiscites, planned for September 23-27, represent “another breach of international law by Russia.”

He added: “Nobody in the world, among civilised countries, will recognise the results, whatever they are.”

Zvarych stressed: “We treat the territory under temporary Russian occupation as sovereign territory of Ukraine, under internationally recognised borders, including the Crimean Peninsula and the Donbas region, and no action by Russia, in the form of such pseudo-referenda, will change the situation.”


The votes on becoming part of Russia were called by Russian-installed officials in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics in eastern Ukraine and in the Russian-controlled parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south of the country, the US broadcaster CNN reported.

Taken together, the four areas comprise some 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory, roughly the size of Hungary, according to the Reuters news agency. 

Western leaders, including Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, have condemned the ballots as a land grab and vowed not to recognise their results, British broadcaster the BBC reported. 

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday told the United Nations Security Council that the referenda represented “a dangerous escalation,” as cited by the BBC.

Meanwhile, Ukraine officials said on Friday that the residents of the four areas were being threatened with punishment if they did not vote, the Reuters news agency reported.

The Kremlin trying to regain the upper hand?

The votes were called hurriedly following Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive, notably in the Kharkiv region.        

By annexing the four areas, the Kremlin could frame attacks to reclaim them as an attack on Russia itself, and even use that to justify a nuclear response, according to Reuters.

In another key development, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednsday mobilised 300,000 reservists to assist in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend his country. 

Friday is day 212 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, CNNbbc.com