NewsWorldWar in Ukraine: annexation referendums by Russia have begun...

War in Ukraine: annexation referendums by Russia have begun – Le Figaro

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Residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions in the south and east of the country are called to vote in hundreds of polling stations.Referendums on annexation by Russia began on Friday (September 23) in four regions of Ukraine wholly or partly controlled by Moscow. These polls are described as “simulacra” by kyiv and the West and mark a major escalation of the conflict which began on February 24. The G7 has also condemned these “false referendums”, which it “will never recognize”. International criticism has not prevented Moscow from pursuing its referendum plans in Ukraine. The votes, which started at 5:00 GMT (7:00 French time), will end on September 27 in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk (east), and in areas under Russian occupation in the regions of Kherson and Zaporijjia (south) . Hundreds of polling stations are to be opened in the four territories. Thus, 450 and 461 polling stations will be opened respectively in the region of Donetsk and Lugansk, to the east. Zaporizhia will have 394 and the Kherson region in the south 198. SEE ALSO – “Everything is rigged”: the inhabitants of kyiv denounce the referendums of annexation To read also Life in the south of Ukraine under the yoke of the invaders: the story of the special envoy of FigaroSeveral polling stations have also opened in Russia to allow the vote of “refugees” who fled the fighting, according to Russian news agencies. But the ballot, announced in haste this week against the backdrop of Ukrainian military successes, is also going door-to-door, with pro-Russian officials going to buildings with mobile ballot boxes to get people to vote, according to media images. Russians. A man voting in the referendum. MOSCOW NEWS AGENCY / REUTERSDemonstrations of support “We hope that after the referendum, we will stop bombing us, that we will have peace and order,” said Vladimir Chotov, from the Lugansk region and came to vote at the Donetsk representation in Moscow. In Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities, the authorities organized demonstrations in support of the referendums with a lot of flags and slogans. “These referendums are a step towards this peace,” said Viktor Suvorov, 40, present at the Moscow rally, a stone’s throw from Red Square. A demonstration of support for Saint Petersburg. OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP In Ukraine, in Chevchenkové, the Ukrainian official Andriï Kanachevitch protested to AFP against “illegal” elections. “To be honest, it sucks,” he says. Without going so far as to denounce the polls, China, Moscow’s closest partner, nevertheless went there with its criticism, calling for respect for territorial integrity. front disillusionedOn the ground, Ukraine claimed Friday the capture of Yatskivka in the Donetsk region (east). On the separatist side, the head of Donetsk Denis Pushilin spoke of an “extremely difficult” situation north of his city. In the Lugansk region, another separatist official, Andrei Marochko, reported on Ukrainian bombardments, noting that the forces of kyiv “want to do everything to derail the referendum”. If the result of these referendums is not in doubt, they announce in any case an escalation of the conflict, Moscow going so far as to threaten nuclear strikes to defend what it considers to be “its” territory. SEE ALSO – “The return to Greater Russia”: the separatist leader Donbas votes in annexation referendum

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