Russia’s efforts to annex parts of Ukraine denounced around the world
Countries around the world have rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to annex Ukrainian territories following Russia-orchestrated sham referendums in four regions of Ukraine.
“The United States does not and will never recognize any of the Kremlin’s sovereignty claims over parts of Ukraine it seized by force and now claims to incorporate into Russia,” the Secretary of State said. Antony Blinken state on September 30.
Moscow’s latest illegal attempt to forcibly change Ukraine’s borders drew swift international rebuke.
Punishments: The United States, its allies, including the United Kingdom, and partners announced on September 30 additional sanctions and visa restrictions targeting:
- Russian government officials and their family members.
- Russian and Belarusian military officials.
- Defense supply networks, including international suppliers supporting the Russian military-industrial complex.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called the Kremlin-sponsored referendums on joining Russia an “illegal attempt at land grabbing” and said the European Union will propose new bans on membership. import Russian products into its 27 member countries.
Conviction: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s actions “the biggest attempt to annex European territory by force since World War II”.
The presidents of nine NATO countries in central and eastern Europe said on October 2 that they could not remain silent in the face of the “flagrant violation of international law”. The leaders of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, North Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia have said they will never recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia.
On September 23, the first day of so-called voting in the occupied areas, leaders of the Group of Seven’s major industrial democracies also said they would never recognize referendums or any annexation, Reuters reported. The countries that make up the Group of Seven are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as the European Union.
“Referendum at gunpoint”
As expected, Russian state media reported on September 27 that large majorities in Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia had voted in favor of joining Russia in referendums that ended on September 27.
The Kremlin used the fake results to claim that voters in the occupied territory wanted to join Russia and annex the four areas.
But the referendums were anything but free and fair. Russia had installed officials loyal to Putin to oversee the elections, and Ukrainian civilians were forced to vote under the watch of armed guards.
Ukrainian officials told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that people were banned from leaving certain occupied areas until the end of four days of voting, that armed groups were going into homes to force people to vote and that employees were threatened if they did not vote.
Elections were held in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, known collectively as the Donbass region, and in the eastern provinces of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya.
Similar votes organized by Russia took place after the Kremlin invaded and occupied Crimea in 2014.
In his September 30 speech, Putin said Russia had four new regions. “People of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region become our compatriots forever,” he said.
Ahead of the vote, one Kherson resident called it a “referendum at gunpoint.”
America and its allies “will not be intimidated by Putin and his reckless words and threats,” Biden told reporters Sept. 30. Putin “can’t grab his neighbor’s territory and get away with it.”