Voting begins in Ukraine’s occupied regions on referendums to join Russia, the West says it’s a sham

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New Delhi: Voting to become part of Russia began Friday in Ukraine’s three Moscow-controlled regions of Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Donetsk, news agency PTI reported. Voting was expected to begin in the Kherson region, which is fully controlled by Moscow.

The referendums were branded a “coup” by the West and a step towards annexation of the territories by Moscow.

US national security adviser Jack Sullivan said on Tuesday that “this vote will be manipulated” and that the US would never recognize Russia’s claims to annexed parts of Ukraine.

“This vote is an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system and lie at the heart of the United Nations Charter,” Sullivan told reporters at a press conference at the White House. PTI.

“We know these referendums will be manipulated. Russia will use these fake referendums as a basis to annex these territories now or in the future,” he added.

Sullivan added, “For months, the United States has been warning of Russia’s plan to directly violate Ukraine’s sovereignty in areas it controls, even in parts of the country it currently does not control.”

NSA Sullivan said Russia rushed to hold the referendum in response to Ukraine’s successes on the battlefield and was ready for possible mobilization measures.

“We will never recognize this region as part of Ukraine. We unequivocally reject Russia’s actions. We will continue to work with our allies and partners to impose costs on Russia,” Sullivan said.

The votes follow President Vladimir Putin’s order for a partial mobilization, which could add up to 300,000 Russian troops against Ukraine.

(with PTI inputs)

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