The breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, will hold referendums between the 23rd and 27th of September on the territories’ accession to Russia.
A measure that, according to the Luhansk leader, was long-awaited. “We have all waited eight long years for a referendum on joining Russia. It has been our common dream and our common future. And so it happened. The referendum will take place,” explained Leonid Pasechnik.
The decision to hold the referendums comes after the Kremlin suffered a battlefield counteroffensive and lost territory in northeastern Ukraine. But when asked about the matter, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the people must decide their fate.
“Since the beginning of the special military operation and even before it, we have said that the peoples of the respective territories must decide their own destiny. The whole current situation confirms that they want to be masters of their own destiny,” said Lavrov.
Russian officials based in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, where Moscow forces control about 95% of the territory, said they also intended to hold a referendum.
On Twitter, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that the votes lack legitimacy and do not change the nature of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. He further said that the international community must condemn this violation of international law and support the Ukrainians.
The Ukrainian government and the United States have also said that the referendums are an illegal sham and that they will not recognize the results.
This Tuesday (21), in New York, at the UN General Assembly, the war in Ukraine was one of the main agendas of the speeches of world leaders, which was already expected.
There were those who were more incisive against Russia. On the other hand, the president of Turkey, for example, avoided criticizing the Kremlin and highlighted that the country seeks a “moderating” role in the conflict.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended that international organizations and countries collaborate in the search for a solution to the war.
“We need to find a way out of this crisis, and that can only be possible through a diplomatic solution that is rational, fair and enforceable,” said Erdogan.
French President Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, criticized Russia and the countries that remain neutral in relation to the conflict.
“Russia needs to see that it cannot impose its will militarily, even if there are false referendums in territories that were bombed and are now occupied,” Macron proclaimed.
“I know that there are countries here that have chosen a form of neutrality regarding this war, but I want to say honestly today, those who think they are not aligned are wrong, they are making a historic mistake,” he continued.
For the International Analyst CNN Lourival Sant’Anna, the Russians are not managing to keep the territories they conquered in the neighboring country.
“Tactics are lacking. Ukrainians have adopted the offensive tactics of NATO, which has spent the last 70 years studying the Soviet and then Russian army. It is a heavy, slow army, very much based on artillery, on saturation bombing and based on the idea of front war, from the Second World War”, explains Lourival.
“And this is not a front war, it’s a multi-line-of-contact war, where the Ukrainians have been able to come and get behind them, and the Russians are totally cheap.”
About the referendum, Lourival analyzes that it is “an attempt to intimidate Ukraine and NATO by saying: these are not occupied territories, these are Russian territories. You are attacking Russia. Therefore, we have the right to declare war, to mobilize our population”.
“It is a step that [Vladimir] Putin did not intend to give, but he is being forced because of his defeat on the ground.”
Source: CNN Brasil