The sham referendums in parts of eastern Ukraine will not be the last, says the Russian ambassador to the UN Security Council. Selenskyj calls the votes a "farce" and announces for his part that the affected areas will be recaptured.
According to its UN ambassador, Russia expects further referendums in Ukraine. "This process will continue if Kyiv does not recognize its mistakes and its strategic failures and does not let itself be guided by the interests of its own people" and instead blindly carries out the will of those who manipulate it, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia said at one UN Security Council meeting in New York.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she had no doubts Russia would hold mock referendums again. After all, Moscow would have done the same in 2014 in Crimea and most recently in eastern Ukraine.
Despite the sham referendums held by Russian occupiers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced the recapture of affected areas of his country. "This farce in the occupied territories cannot even be described as an imitation of referendums," said Zelenskyj in his video speech on Wednesday night. "We move forward and liberate our country!"
Shortly before, the occupation administrations deployed by Moscow in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as in Cherson and Zaporizhia in the south, had said that the people there had allegedly voted in favor of joining Russia, some with more than 99 percent approval.
Observers had pointed to numerous cases in which Ukrainian residents of the occupied territories were forced to vote. In a next step, it is expected that the occupation administrations deployed by Moscow will officially apply to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin for admission to Russian territory. Before the start of the sham referendum, Putin had emphasized that the areas would then be completely under the protection of the nuclear power Russia.