Authorities in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine announced on Tuesday that they will be holding referendums on joining Russia, a sign that Moscow may be escalating its military operations in Ukraine.
Referendums will be held in the self-declared Donestk and Luhansk Republics in the Donbas region, and in the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Russia currently controls about 95% of Kherson and a significant portion of Zaporizhzhia.
Putin was set to deliver a major speech on Tuesday where he was expected to discuss the referendums, but it was postponed. Reacting to the planned referendums, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “Peoples of the respective territories should decide their fate.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed the referendum plans, saying that they wouldn’t “change anything” and that Ukraine would continue to attempt to recapture the territories. “Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say,” he said.
The announcements come after Ukraine recaptured a significant portion of territory in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been under pressure to escalate what he has called a “special military operation” into a full-scale war.
In another sign Russia is preparing for an escalation, Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a bill on Tuesday that would introduce the term “mobilization” into Russia’s criminal code. Putin has so far resisted calls for a mobilization, which would involve a nationwide military draft, but he did warn last week that Russia might step up its operations in Ukraine.
61 thoughts on “Russian-Backed Authorities in Ukraine Announce Referendums to Join Russia”
Russian-Backed Authorities in Ukraine Announce Referendums to Join Russia Referendums will be held in the Donbas, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson from September 23 to 27″
It’s about time. Join Russia then kick Zelensky and his minions back into Poland.
You can’t hold a meaningful election in a territory under military occupation in the middle of a war that has turned millions of people into refugees. The only way to have a fair plebiscite would be to cease hostilities, allow the refugees to return and have the vote supervised by a neutral party. These elections will be a sham. In the last census in 2001 about 57% of the people of Donbas were ethnic Ukrainians and only 39%were ethnic Russians. Donbas is not Crimea where the majority of the people are Russians who want to be part of Russia. That is not the case in Donbas.
Probably you don’t know that USA proclaimed the independence from UK in the middle of the war for the independence.
Right. And the Indians and the slaves did not get to vote.
In 1776 the colonists were alarmed by the Somerset decision handed down by the high court of the King’s bench that held that slavery was a “odious” condition that could not be supported by English common law. In 1775 Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation offered emancipation to slaves and families of slaves who took up arms against the rebellion. By 1783 thousands of slaves had emancipated themselves and their families by joining the British and were evacuated after the war to communities that still exist in Canada. The colonists recognized that it was only a matter of time before the British banned the slave trade (1807) and abolished slavery throughout the empire (1833).
Another reason driving American independence was Britain’s alliance with many of the Indian nations in the Ohio country. Following the French and Indian War (1763) the British banned white settlers west of the Alleghany mountains and were evicting whites who had illegally settled in the Ohio country. Until 1814 British policy was to support the creation of an Indian confederation in the Ohio country which the white colonists opposed.
A plebiscite in the USA would have been interesting, especially if more than a million slaves and Indians in the colonies and the territories under British control had voted.
Actually a excellent example of presentism.
It’s my understanding that the entire oblast of Donetsk was about half ethnic Russian and half ethnic Ukrainian. Nonetheless, in 2014, 90 percent of people who voted chose independence.
Russians and Ukrainians have a common national, historical and cultural identity.
And yet, a fair number or Ukrainians seem to want the Russians out.
Only the ukrainian nazis.
And people were observed by journalists voting multiple times — and some admitted to doing so themselves.
Of course, there was also that phone call in which Dima Boitsov, and neo-Nazi Alexander Barkashov of Russian National Unity, where the latter told Boitsov to tabulate the results as 89% in favor of autonomy. Of course the separatists said it was a fake, but it is mighty odd that that’s what the vote ended up as.
Some background on Barkashov, btw:
Ethnic means nothing.
There is no military occupation of the DPR and LPR; hasn’t been since 2015.
Kudos, Vooch. An exceedingly nuanced comment, which will probably go right over the head of the majority of readers.
Correct. And the “invasion” was the AFU invading the Donbas republics. Those republics were justified in secession from the Ukrainian state based on the illegal overthrow of the elected government. They were also justified to secede based on the Kiev regime overt cultural ethnic cleansing schemes
Precisely – it’s the Ukrainian Civil War
International law actually allows for the people of Donbass to be protected from mass murder. The Donbass of course will never be part of Ukraine again unless US/Kiev genocide every last living being there, which of course they are attempting to do.
USA-NATO are Complicit in the Crimes Against Humanity committed by Kiev’s Special Forces Attacking Donbass Insurgent Populations. The inconvenient truth of what happened in Ukraine is that Nazis were at the forefront of the Kiev coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych. , a reality that the U.S. government and news media have been relentlessly trying to cover up.
As a result of the Nazi coup detat Russia stripped Ukraine of its most valuable assets and saddled Brussels and Washington with Kiev’s debt in the process. Vladimir Putin ate the West’s geopolitical lunch and left it with the tab.
And given the number of people in Crimea, Kherson and Donbass who voted to secede and the vast numbers of people in Eastern and Southern Ukraine who are fighting for secession rather than live under the new US and EU backed government
You mean the territories ***liberated*** from the Nazi coup regime oppressors installed by the Neocon-subverted-and-dominated Empire of Lies? You mean those territories?
We live in a time of turmoil where two irreconcilable “narratives” compete for the brass ring of “truth”.
When the masters of “perception management” owned the narrative, the masses remained placid and manageable.
“We’ll Know Our Disinformation Program is Complete When Everything The American Public Believes is False.” – William Casey, CIA Director 1981
But the rise of the internet swept away the monopoly regime of thought-control and freed the truth from its chains. Now the world flails in a tribal conflict over who will capture and own the the new “truth”.
You should really learn more about some of the Donetsk separatists before you pull out the “Nazi” trope.
If the referendum about joining Russia is successful and those 4 regions will integrate in Russian Federation, then those territories can’t be considered as occupied by Russia, they would be parts of Russia.
Well I predict those regions will vote to join Russia, the war will continue
Referendums are always preferred over war. People should be asked whether they want to be part of Russia or Ukraine and the referendums to be controlled by independent observers from neutral countries or the UN.
Give the people what they want.
Not exactly what is happening here
The UN is not neutral and there are no independent countries. They held a plebiscite to secede. The UN charters allows for self determination, genocide is not the solution.
Stop the Genocide of the Donbass people. Recognise the will of the Donbass people and allow them to live in peace and be free of the fascist Nazi’s in Kiev, the EU and the US.
That sounds a bit excessive…
Russia is mobilising and preparing for war. Excessive? I dont think so, not once you know the truth about Ukraine.
What has been excessive has been the patience of the Russian people, they had to endure 8 years of death and destruction by Nazi’s. Bio terrorism, Nuclear terrorism. Its time to pay the piper.
Fascinating to watch, committing slow national suicide. I have to think Putin is going to fall out a window before they really screw up
I was referring to your remarks about the UN.
The UN is a disgrace, it is corrupt to the core. It sat on its hands while genocide was being attempted in Donbass. Its a total disgrace. Its time to pay the piper.
300,000 is the first mobilisation, more to follow. This is more than the force required for the SMO in the Donbass. That will initially place half a million troops in Ukraine.
Troops with no equipment, this is going to be “Great Patriotic War” style, two soldiers with one rifle when the first one drops the second guy picks it up and continues. It is going to be a sad slaughter of ill trained ill equipped poorly led conscripts.
My understanding, which could be incorrect, is that the conscription here is actually a call-up of inactive reservists who have prior military training. And where shortages of equipment on the Russian side are rumored, I haven’t seen any such rumors where small arms are concerned.
It seems more akin to our ‘ready reserve‘
That could be. If it is, and if the standards are similar, they can be activated in 24-48 hours and trained up for the specific mission in a month or less.
That’s what Shogui (sp?) implied in his follow up. It’s also 300,000 out of what sounds like 2,500,000 in the ready reserve.
Since the RF still has conscription the number of ex-military in the inactive reserve is tens of millions – but that includes old farts like you and I.
What’s unknown in all this is the Order of Battle for the DPR and LPR – they appear to have (very) roughly 150,000 ground forces. In addition, there were rumors of brigades being raised in Kherson and elsewhere.
The decree (as linked to helpfully by Richard Steven Hack) neither limits the draft to reservists nor the number to 300k.
Rather it decrees that “Senior officials of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall ensure the conscription of citizens for military service for mobilization in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the amount and within the terms determined by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for each subject of the Russian Federation.”
Can you offer examples for your statement and help illustrate the issue for us?
Start with Libya. UN supported regime change and the resultant failed state.
Continue with the massive sexual misconduct scandals.
Move on to the diversion of UN funds to personal use.
Nations being bribed to vote based on US “foreign aid”.
Thanks. I am stilled possessed of a certain naiveté in as much as I would like to believe that the UN still stands for something…
Donna, I love your sense of optimism; it’s part of what makes you, you.
But the UN is worthless. IsraHell is in violation of dozens of UN mandates as welll as articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and what has the UN done about it? If it cannot enforce its mandates, what good is it?
of course it stands for something, just less than you would hope.
The people of the Donbas weren’t asked if they wanted to be ruled under the Ukrainian SSR when the Soviets ceded this territory to the predecessor state of Ukraine. One would hope that people have a choice on their governments. Sadly, that isn’t often the case.
Those that rule nations rarely care what the populace wants. Outside interference in the internal affairs by those that rule Western nations was obvious in Ukraine in 2014. That means the legitimacy of the post coup Ukraine government is in question.
It’s pretty clear that a substantial and likely majority in the Donbas would desire local self governance. Plebiscite votes were taken before the military actions of the separatists in the Donbas and before the repressive actions of the Kiev regime. The results at that time were clear.
The post coup Kiev regimes embraced measures that were clearly ethnic cleansing. At the same time the Western media engaged in vitriolic attacks on anything Russian with claims of election interference by Russia within Western countries. NATO began a buildup of the Ukrainian regimes military including training and funding. That funding was largely directed to the Azov and Kraken military type units that were decidedly anti ethnic Russian.
Title is incorrect by far – the DPR and LPR are by no means occupied. Their status as self governing Autonomous Republics was codified in international law by UNSC 2202 way back in 2015. There are nil military units from the RF in the DPR or LPR.
“Russian-backed” is a deliberate attempt to stir a negative emotion as when they label other forces as “Iranian-backed.” They’re not as “consistent” in labeling other entities as “US-backed.”
I agree that “Russia-backed” is inaccurate. The correct term is “quisling.”
“Quisling” is a term used to indicate collaboration with a foreign occupation. The premise being that the Russians, who were invited in by the government of Donetsk and Lugansk were the foreign invaders which is not the case.
Although whether the LPR/DPR governments enjoy the consent of the governed is an interesting question, sure, let’s assume that the answer is “yes.”
That leaves portions of Kherson and Zaporizhia oblast which are occupied by Russian forces at the moment and are “governed” (to the extent that they have some leash room to make any actual decisions) by quislings.
Nope. That doesn’t necessarily follow. You are making an assumption that the population views the Russians as invaders or occupiers. Rather than the Ukrainian regime being usurpers. The Ukrainian regime is the successor to a coup instigated by a foreign power. $5 Billion worth of US funding according to Victoria Nuland.
Therefore, the quislings were the deposed Ukrainian regimes lackey’s. Those individuals were de facto representing a puppet government controlled by the US/ NATO. Those foreign powers are currently using Ukrainians in a proxy war solely to further the geopolitical interests of those ruling NATO nations.
How do you hold a valid referendum in an area where a large percentage of the population has fled or been conscripted? Of course, how do you hold ANY valid election in Russia when opposition leaders are jailed and media outlets and journalists that criticize the government are labeled “foreign agents”?
Btw, why didn’t Russia hold a referendum when the Chechens wanted to break away?
Answer: by doing the referendum before the population of the Donbas was forced to flee due to the Ukrainian regime daily artillery strikes on civilian targets. Which was what happened.
Just so you know, the Chechens were divided on being in the RF. Putin was obviously persuasive as the pro Russian faction won and they are no
w fighting in Ukraine on the Russian side. Doing rather well it seems.
Please supply your sources for “daily artillery strikes on civilian targets.”
Also, if this was happening, why did so many folks not seek refuge elsewhere until Russia invaded?
The OSCE among others. Multiple independent news sources. Human Rights Watch. Even the NY Times. Simple to find if you have basic internet search skills. If one is interested anyway.
It is the obligation of citizens to investigate what their governments are doing.
Please provide a link then, because I am unable to find any
Clearly you didn’t look.
I did. And clearly you don’t have one to provide.
US in Ukraine has declared war on Russia, they funded neo Nazi’s in Kiev to overthrow the elected government and then went about blaming Russia for the destabilisation. As we know from past experience, Washington will pursue its strategy relentlessly while shrugging off public opinion, international law or the condemnation of adversaries and allies alike.
The pattern, of course, is unmistakable. It begins with sanctimonious finger-wagging, economic sanctions and incendiary rhetoric, and quickly escalates into stealth bombings, drone attacks, unlawful detention and torture, massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of fleeing refugees, decimated towns and cities, death squads, wholesale human carnage, vast environmental devastation, and the steady slide into failed state anarchy; all of which is accompanied by the repetition of state propaganda spewed from every corporate bullhorn in the western media.
After all isn’t this how it happened in Iraq, Libya, Afganistan, Syria etc. Since 1980, the United States has military intervened 37 times in 27 countries.
Ukrainian Nazis were the ones who shot down MH17 not with a Buk but Air to Air missiles from fighter plane(s). Russia had no motive for downing a passenger plane, Ukraine had.
Those systems are complicated to operate the evidence points to the separatists. Now the Ukrainians shot down an Air Siberia jet a few years earlier.
All norms of the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO were violated in the investigation of the crash of Malaysia’s MH17 flight in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s security services are directly involved in this investigation yet much of the evidence suggests that Ukraines security services could well be responsible for the demise of flight MH17.
For instance what was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights? A Russian monitoring system registered that there were Ukrainian Air Force jets, probably Su-25’s in the immediate vicinity, eye witnesses say at least one was climbing and approaching flight MH17. Why was the military jet flying so close to a passenger plane? Why were eye witness reports excluded from the Dutch report?
Why did flight MH17 leave the international corridor? Flight MH17 stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north. Was flight MH17 leaving the route as a navigation error or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk? Why was the altitude of MH17 reduced? Was this to make it within combat range of an Su-25?
Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held regions just before the tragedy? Especially considering that the self-defense forces have no planes. Also on the day of the crash Kiev intensified Kupol-M1 9S18 radar activity, key BUK targeting system components. Where they providing targeting information to the Su-25’s?
You are absolutely right. I had come to exactly the same conclusions already years ago. No smoke trail from a Buk launch was ever observed. The Separatists found the black boxes and handed them over within days to the Malaysian authorities. Why would they do that? If they or Russia had been culpable would they have incriminated themselves ?
Yes, what Donetsk needs is anti-Nazi leaders like Alexander Barkashov!
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