Four regions of Ukraine began to vote on the annexation of Russia

The referendum points for joining Russia have begun to open in the Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, while Donetsk and Kherson are preparing to do the same.

“The polling stations for the referendum on joining the Russian Federation begin to open throughout the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) from 8 am today (12 pm Hanoi time)”, the Central Election Commission LPR issued a statement said.

The Russian-appointed official in the southern Ukrainian province of Zaporizhzhia also announced the opening of polling stations, while the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) government and Kherson province officials have not yet released information. .

The pro-Russian government in Kherson said 750,000 people would turn out to vote. Zaporizhzhia also gives similar numbers. Donetsk says it printed 1.5 million votes.

Locals raise the Russian flag at the Stanitsa Luganskaya residential area, Lugansk province, Ukraine on August 22.  Photo: RIA Novosti.

Locals raise the Russian flag in Lugansk province, eastern Ukraine, on August 22. Image: RIA Novosti.

The two breakaway regions of the DPR and LPR in the eastern Donbass region, along with the Russian military-controlled area of ​​Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces in southern Ukraine, held a referendum on the desire to annex the territory to Russia from 23. until 9/27. The Russian-controlled regional government in the southern province of Mykolaiv announced it was annexing the neighboring Kherson province, thus also voting.

Voting is divided into two phases. For the first four days, election officials came knocking on doors. Pro-Russian officials say the measure is to ensure security. On September 27, people voted directly at the reception points.

Security is tight in the four breakaway regions because they fear ambushes from the Ukrainian army. Officials in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia said local police and Russian military personnel would be present at polling stations.

Ukraine’s government has criticized these referendums as staged referendums, stressing they will not change national sovereignty and that the military “has every right to liberate territories and will continue to do so.” . Ukraine also believes that the referendums will destroy the chances of peace talks with Russia.

The location of 4 provinces is expected to hold a referendum on annexing Russia.  Graphics: DW.

The location of 4 provinces is expected to hold a referendum on annexing Russia. Graphics: DW.

Western countries, including the US, as well as the NATO military alliance, vehemently criticized the plan and said they would not recognize the results. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that “fake referendums are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that are the foundation of the international system”.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that annexation to Russia is a matter for the people of the Ukrainian provinces to decide for themselves. Many senior Russian officials have expressed support for this operation.

Russia controls most of Lugansk, Kherson, 73% of Zaporizhzhia and 60% of Donetsk. As of January, about 1.4 million people live in Lugansk, 2.2 million in Donetsk, more than a million in Kherson and 1.6 million in Zaporizhzhia. After the war broke out, many people evacuated to other parts of the country and abroad.

Vu Anh (Theo Interfax, AFP)

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