Ukraine: Despite international outrage, Moscow is preparing to join

Ukraine: Despite international outrage, Moscow is preparing to join

The Russian-held territories of Ukraine and Moscow said Thursday votes scheduled for Friday to annex Russia would go ahead despite international outrage.

Russia, through its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, should defend its annexation project and invasion of Ukraine in the UN Security Council the day after the announcement of the mobilization of 300,000 troops, additional information and threats of the use of nuclear weapons by Vladimir Putin.

From Friday to Tuesday, four regions of southern and eastern Ukraine controlled in whole or in part by Moscow will take part in elections organized in an emergency to be annexed by Russia, “simulacra” of referendums denounced in the West . Even China, which is close to Moscow, has voiced criticism and called for respect for states’ territorial integrity.

The pro-Russian authorities installed in these areas and Moscow nevertheless promised to continue the proceedings.

“Voting starts tomorrow and nothing can prevent it,” Vladimir Saldo, head of the occupation administration for the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, told Russian television.

The electoral body of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk in the east said the election would be held almost door-to-door “in front of the houses” for four days “for security reasons”, with polling stations not opening until “the last day”, that is September 27th.

– Rockets hypersonic –

Former Russian President and number two on the country’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, told him via telegram that the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk (east), which make up the Donbass basin, and Kherson and Zaporizhia (south), “will integrate Russia “.

He added that his country is ready for a nuclear strike on the West if necessary: ​​”Russian hypersonic missiles are capable of hitting their targets in Europe and the United States much faster” than Western weapons.

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, the Russian president said he was ready to use “all means” in his arsenal against the West, which he accused of wanting to “destroy” Russia. “It’s not a bluff,” he assured.

Russian military doctrine provides for the possibility of resorting to nuclear strikes when Moscow attacks areas considered Russian, which could be the case with annexed areas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was “de facto confronted with the NATO bloc” over Western military aid to Ukraine.

Moscow, therefore, unsurprisingly remains deaf to criticism, beginning with that of American Joe Biden, who insisted on Wednesday before the United Nations General Assembly that Putin’s war is “destroying Ukraine’s right to exist.”

After him, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the world to “punish” Russia.

Frenchman Emmanuel Macron urged him to resist “blackmail” by Vladimir Putin: “Our duty is to hold our line”.

Rockets continued to rain down on the ground, while Mr Putin seems to have accelerated his annexation project and seems to have announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists, after suffering severe setbacks in September in the face of a counter-offensive in the areas of Kharkiv (Northeast), Donbass (East). ) and in Cherson (south).

Among other things, the city of Zaporijjia (south), which is under Ukrainian control, was hit by nine rockets, according to local authorities, which reached a hotel in particular and killed at least one person.

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk have accused Kyiv of firing at a market, killing six people, with local media broadcasting images of a charred bus and a bloodied corpse in the street.

In addition, Russia has confirmed a very large exchange of prisoners with Ukraine and the arrival in Russia of the 55 Russian soldiers concerned.

– “I do not wanna die” –

The day before, President Zelenskyi celebrated the release of 215 Ukrainians, including defense chiefs at the Azovstal Steel Works in Mariupol (southeast), a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance, whom Moscow calls “neo-Nazis.”

Donetsk region separatist leader Denis Pushilin has confirmed the release of a wealthy Ukrainian politician close to Vladimir Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk.

This former MP was arrested in Ukraine in mid-April on suspicion of high treason in favor of Moscow.

While the announcement of the mobilization of 300,000 reservists, according to many media outlets, triggered a rush for plane tickets to leave the country, the Kremlin denied the scale of the phenomenon.

“Information about a commotion at airports is greatly exaggerated,” swept Dmitry Peskov.

Upon arrival at Yerevan airport in Armenia, the Russians admit to fleeing mobilization. Carrying only a small bag, Dmitri, 45, says he left his wife and children behind.

“I don’t want to die in this senseless war. It’s a fratricidal war,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Across Russia, the announcement of the mobilization sparked impromptu demonstrations, and at least 1,332 people were arrested on Wednesday.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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