A so-called ‘referendum’ is to be held on whether the occupied territories of Ukraine will join Russia. Referendums will be held in four regions of Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatist groups.
The vote, which began on Friday (September 23), is believed to be a foregone conclusion for Russia. News BBC.
According to reports, elections have started in the four regions that Russia has been most interested in since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Referendums will be held in four regions from Friday to next Tuesday (September 23 to 27).
Crimea was previously occupied by Russian forces. A referendum was held there in 2014. The massive rigging in this election has been criticized internationally. In that vote, 97 percent voted in favor of joining Crimea with Russia.
Ukraine’s Western allies condemned Russia’s move as a ‘land grab’. The allies also said that the results of the ballot will not be recognized.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said it was a dangerous decision. On Thursday (September 22) in the UN Security Council, he strongly said that no Russian claim on the soil of Ukraine can take away the right of self-defense of Ukrainians.
In a speech given at night, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that the election was fraudulent and undemocratic.
Earlier this week, Russia announced referendums in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces. According to international media, these areas are about 15 percent of Ukraine or equal to the Central European country of Hungary.
According to Russian media, referendum officials will go door-to-door in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces with portable ballot boxes from Friday to Monday. On the fifth day i.e. Tuesday (September 27) polling station activities will be held.
Discussions about this referendum in Russia have been going on for the past few months. The pro-Moscow authorities also took strong steps in this regard. Ukraine recently reclaimed some of its territory from Russia. However, to disrupt this, Russia started rigging the vote.
Bangladesh Time: 1031 hours, September 23, 2022