Russia bid to annexe elements of Ukraine with sham votes ‘doomed’ to fail

Russia bid to annexe elements of Ukraine with sham votes ‘doomed’ to fail

A Ukrainian soldier rides in a automotive after drawing water from a neighborhood effectively within the liberated village in Troitske, Kharkiv area, on September 18, 2022.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | Afp | pretend photos

Ukrainian officers have rejected plans by Russian-occupied elements of the nation to carry referendums on whether or not to affix the Russian Federation, saying the transfer is “doomed to fail”, whereas analysts see the vote as an escalation by Moscow because it continues. the Kyiv counteroffensive.

Russia’s deputy leaders and officers stationed in occupied elements of the nation made a sequence of bulletins on Tuesday, calling for quick votes to affix Russia.

These bulletins got here earlier than Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a “partial mobilization” that included calling up army reserves to energetic obligation and growing authorities funds for weapons manufacturing.

The referendums, because of happen subsequent weekend, will probably be held in two self-proclaimed “republics” in Donetsk and Lugansk within the japanese Donbas area, in addition to in occupied elements of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson areas.

The votes, the outcomes of that are anticipated to be rigged in favor of changing into a part of Russia, are seen as a approach for Russia to annex extra of Ukraine and might justify “defending” what it may later declare. it was “Russian territory”, though many of the worldwide neighborhood wouldn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the votes or the outcomes.

For sure, Russia’s newest makes an attempt to annex extra elements of Ukraine, and making an attempt to lend legitimacy to such an act by organizing referendums to take action, have drawn worldwide condemnation, beginning with Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed the “loud information” and bulletins about referendums, saying Ukraine had heard all of it earlier than.

“Fairly noisy information is coming from Russia right this moment. And there are loads of questions on it. However what actually occurred? What was heard that we have not heard earlier than?” he stated in his night speech, whereas Ukraine’s international minister Dmytro Kuleba referred to as any referendum a “farce” that might not cease Ukraine in its aim of liberating its territories.

Reiterating Kuleba’s place, Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s Protection Minister Oleksii Reznikov, advised CNBC that such “pretend” votes are “doomed to fail” for various causes.

“That is the determined face-saving try they’re making an attempt to make use of to make up for the humiliation they’ve suffered on the battlefield because of the Ukrainian military’s counter-offensive, each within the Kharkiv area and in Kherson,” he stated. CNBC Tuesday.

“The second level is that no matter they do, this is not going to cease the Ukrainian military and no member of the worldwide neighborhood will acknowledge it.”

“The third essential level is that the native populations within the quickly occupied territories, and we’re seeing it now that we’re vacating these territories, don’t assist the occupiers. They don’t assist the aggressor. So these pretend referendums are doomed to failure, from any angle or side you take a look at,” he stated.

Why are the votes taking place?

Because the votes had been introduced in tandem on Tuesday, analysts questioned whether or not Moscow could be about to announce a mobilization of the Russian folks, placing Russia firmly on a battle footing and opening the door to the potential recruitment of Russian males of combating age to be shipped. to Ukraine

That hypothesis was confirmed on Wednesday when Putin introduced the partial mobilization of the Russian nation, whereas once more blaming the West for the battle in Ukraine and saying Russia had “many weapons to reply” to what he stated had been threats from the West.

Putin’s newest transfer got here after the controversy amongst pro-Putin politicians and commentators over the mobilization had grown louder in latest weeks with mounting strain on the Kremlin to place extra weight (and personnel and weapons) behind it. of the “particular army operation” in Ukraine, significantly after Kyiv’s successes in a lightning counter-offensive within the northeast within the Kharkiv area and the south of the nation in Kherson.

The counterattack in Kharkiv has been significantly profitable, with Ukrainian forces driving virtually all Russian troops out of the area; in Kherson, the scenario is extra advanced as Russian forces are extra deeply entrenched in and across the port metropolis and wider area, and in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 and the place it additionally held a mock referendum to attempt to legitimize its annexation.

Putin stated on Wednesday that Russia supported the referendums, saying the choice to partially mobilize was “totally acceptable to the threats we face, that’s, to guard our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to make sure the protection of our folks and the folks within the liberated international locations”. territories.”

The upcoming votes would enable the Kremlin to say, albeit falsely, that it was “defending” its personal territory and residents, and that can require extra manpower.

Ukraine’s Western allies have already confirmed that the outcomes of any vote can be thought-about illegitimate.

The EU stated any final result couldn’t be thought-about “the free expression of the desire of the folks” in these areas, whereas US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented on Tuesday that “the bogus referendums, the potential mobilization of forces shouldn’t be an indication of energy. Quite the opposite, it’s a signal of weak spot, it’s a signal of Russian failure.”

Jake Sullivan, nationwide safety adviser to President Joe Biden, referred to as the referenda an affront to the rules of sovereignty and territorial integrity. He stated that Biden, in his speech to the United Nations Basic Meeting on Wednesday, will difficulty a “agency rebuke” to Russia for its battle towards Ukraine.

Extra fight energy

The newest intelligence replace from the UK Ministry of Protection, launched on Wednesday morning, stated the urgency behind such votes was probably because of Russian fears “of an imminent assault from Ukraine”. [on occupied areas] and an expectation of elevated safety after formally changing into a part of Russia.”

Nonetheless, the ministry famous that Russian forces in Ukraine proceed to expertise manpower shortages and {that a} vote within the Russian Duma on Tuesday to toughen Russia’s penal code round army service, together with growing punishment for desertion and different ” crimes dedicated in circumstances of mobilization”. , martial legislation, armed battle and hostilities”, was most likely meant to restrict the variety of refusals to struggle and was designed to mitigate a number of the quick “pressures” on personnel.

“Russian civil and army management has confronted vital strain prior to now two weeks. These new measures are probably introduced ahead because of public criticism and mark a brand new growth in Russia’s technique,” the ministry stated. .

“Putin is accepting higher political danger by undermining the fiction that Russia shouldn’t be in a battle or nationwide disaster within the hope of producing extra combating energy,” the ministry stated.

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