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In challenge to West, Russia rolls out plan to annex swathes of Ukraine ‘in next few days’ | India News – Times of India

Russian-installed leaders in occupied areas of 4 Ukrainian areas set out plans for referendums on becoming a member of Russia, a transfer Ukraine and its allies dismissed on Monday as a stunt by Moscow to attempt to reclaim the initiative after battlefield losses.
“The Russians can do no matter they need. It is not going to change something,” Ukraine’s overseas minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned in response to reporters’ questions at the beginning of a gathering with US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “Ukraine has each proper to liberate its territories and can hold liberating them no matter Russia has to say,” he tweeted.
US nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan mentioned Washington rejected any such referendums “unequivocally”. French President Macron and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda used the phrase “parody” to explain the deliberate votes.
Within the apparently coordinated transfer, pro-Russian figuresannounced deliberate referendums for September 23-27 within the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, representing round 15% of Ukrainian territory or an space concerning the measurement of Hungary.
Russia already considers Luhansk and Donetsk, which collectively make up the Donbas area Moscow partially occupied in 2014, to be unbiased states. Ukraine and the West contemplate all elements of Ukraine held by Russian forces to be illegally occupied. In a publish on social media addressed to Putin, the chief of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Individuals’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, wrote: “I ask you, as quickly as attainable, within the occasion of a constructive determination within the referendum which we have now little doubt about — to contemplate the DPR changing into part of Russia. ”
Some pro-Kremlin figures framed the referendums as an ultimatum to the West to just accept Russian territorial good points or face an all-out battle with a nuclear-armed foe. “Encroachment onto Russian territory is a criminal offense which lets you use all of the forces of self–defence,” Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president and now hawkish deputy chairman of Putin’s Safety Council mentioned on social media.
However the US and Nato allies which were backing Ukraine with weapons and different assist mentioned such plebiscites can be meaningless. If the referendum plan “wasn’t so tragic it will be humorous,” Macron advised reporters in New York, the place leaders have been arriving for a UN assembly. “Russia began the battle, invaded this area, bombed folks, madepeople flee and now they’re saying on this very area it’s going to organise a referendum,” Macron mentioned. A spokesman for Lithuania’s Nauseda quoted him as saying: “It’s an try and cowl the true face of the totalitarian regime. ”
Reframing combating in occupied territory as an assault on Russia might additionally give Moscow ajustification to mobilise its 2 million-strong navy reserves. Moscow has to date resisted such a transfer regardless of mounting losses. Sullivan mentioned Washington was conscious of such an intention, which Sullivan mentioned would do nothing to undermine Ukraine’s capability to push again Russian aggression.

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