To escalate the seven-month war, Russia plans to annex more territory in Ukraine on Friday. The move will isolate the Kremlin, draw further international punishment, and give Ukraine more military, political, and economic support. After Kyiv and Western officials have denounced the “referendums” as illegal, forced, and rigged, the annexation and planned concerts in Moscow and the occupied territories will occur some days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums.”
The Russian president is scheduled to perform a signing ceremony on Friday in which he will annex four more areas of Ukraine following the so-called referendums that the Ukrainian government and the West condemned as invalid.#Russia #Ukraine #Kremlin #referendums #Russian
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 30, 2022
In a Kremlin ceremony scheduled for Friday, President Vladimir Putin is expected to give a major speech about the integration of four regions of Ukraine for the first time: Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. A pro-Moscow regional administrator said in the Kremlin’s ornate St. George’s Hall that the regions would sign treaties joining Russia. During an emergency meeting of his National Security and Defense Council on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to respond.
Additionally, Zelenskyy released a video directed at Russian minorities, especially the Dagestani people, one of the poorest regions of the North Caucasus, and a hotbed of anti-war sentiment. In front of a plaque in Kyiv commemorating a Dagestani hero, he spoke in English, wearing a black hoodie that read, “I am Ukrainian.” In his remarks, he urged ethnic minorities not to participate in the mobilization.
Ukraine to Recapture its Four Regions
As the Kremlin repeats the annexation playbook it followed when incorporating Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the US and its allies have pledged to impose additional sanctions against Russia and provide millions of dollars in additional support for Ukraine. On Friday, a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Earlier this year, he had taken similar steps in February regarding Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as Crimea. However, Ukraine has reiterated its commitment to retaking Crimea’s four regions.
Moreover, Russia reiterates that it will defend all its territory – including newly annexed regions – with nuclear weapons and all other means available. It is believed that Russia has partially mobilized its armed forces and that sabotage has been committed against two Russian pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor that are intended to supply natural gas to Europe. President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Thursday that Russia is having difficulty mobilizing troops due to Ukrainian success in recapturing some of the lands it is annexing.
In their view, the staged referendums on whether to live under Russian rule have been characterized as a blatant land grab based upon lies by Ukraine’s Western supporters. On a territory from which thousands of residents have fled or been forcibly deported, some people were compelled to vote at gunpoint in an election without independent observers. During a press conference Thursday in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke unusually stridently when he said that Russia’s annexation violates the UN Charter and has “no legal value.” As he described the move as “a dangerous escalation,” he concluded that it was unacceptable and should not be allowed to proceed.