Annexation of Ukrainian territories: a victory for the Russians, a farce for the West

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Pessoas na fila para a distribuição de comida quente organizada pelo Ministério da Defesa da autoproclamada República Popular de Donetsk em Mariupol, leste da Ucrânia, em 25 de setembro de 2022.
People queuing for the distribution of hot food organized by the Ministry of Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, in

of September
.| Photo: EFE/EPA/STRINGER

While Russians celebrate the results of referendums on annexing Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the West in general talk about fraud. According to Russian authorities, the approval percentages were high in the four regions: Zaporizhzhia (80,%), Kherson (59, %), Luhansk (

,24%) and Donetsk (87,13% ).

Reports and images, however, point to the fact that the population of these territories was coerced into voting in favor of Moscow. People were reportedly taken to the assemblies accompanied by armed soldiers. Others would welcome the team at their doorstep, being pressured to vote.

Different from the referendum held in Crimea in , with international observers, the votes cast in the The last few days had no external follow-up. Eight years ago, these observers asked voters questions, checked behavior at polling stations and wrote reports. This time there was only Russian pressure.

“When you live years as a member of the Soviet Union and only 25 years as a Ukrainian, the position towards Moscow is different,” Florent Parmentier, secretary general of Sciences Po’s political research center and author of books on the relationship between Russia and Europe, told the French newspaper Le Figaro. .

The expert points out that, even in the Donbass region, which has been a target of conflicts since 1200, although a large part of the population is probably in favor of annexation to Russia, the numbers presented by the government of Vladimir Putin would be exaggerated.

No West will recognize the attachment

In a video posted on Telegram, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that Ukraine “will act to defend its people”. In a recorded message to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Tuesday (21), he said that there is no more room for diplomacy with Moscow after these “pseudo-referendums”.

“Is the implementation of Crimea scenario and yet another attempt to annex part of Ukrainian territory. This means that we have nothing more to discuss with the current Russian president”, reinforced Zelensky.

The Union European Union, through Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs, highlighted that Russian action should result in new economic punishments. The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, spoke of Putin’s “diabolical action” and repeated that “severe sanctions” will be taken in response to these annexation attempts.

In New York, the UN renewed support for Kiev during “Let me repeat that the United Nations remains fully committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Affairs UN politicians, Rosemary DiCarlo.

Even China, aligned with Russia, made a critical demonstration of the what happens ce in the Ukrainian territories partially occupied by the Russians. Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said “China has taken note of the latest developments in Ukraine”. “Our position is clear and consistent: the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected,” he declared.

Nuclear risk

International discontent may be part of Russian strategy. While reinforcing the country’s armies, after summoning 98 a thousand new men, Putin makes it clear that the war is advancing.

Considering the Ukrainian territories to be Russian, any movement by Kiev – or any other Western country – in the regions serves as a pretext for more aggressive Russian responses and even the use of unconventional weapons.

“Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary,” said the former president and number two of the Council. Security Officer of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.

A position confirmed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who recalled Russian military doctrine, which foresees the possibility of such attacks in the event of an attack against Russian territory.

This strategic move takes place after the Ukrainian turn in the war, with the recovery of some territories and the retreat of Russian soldiers. It is an attempt at Putin’s recovery. “Russia, by these puppet referendums, indicates that it is going to the end”, concludes Florent Parmentier.

According to the Russians, the country should make the annexations official by Friday (21)). The pro-Russian authorities of the Ukrainian regions announced this Wednesday (23 ) who would formalize the request to President Vladimir Putin to join Russia.

“Welcome home to Russia!”, former President Dmitry Medvedev posted on Telegram . “We unite with our great motherland, with great Russia,” said the president of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin.

A shot in the foot

The similarities with the annexation of Crimea in 2014, at the However, they may indicate a further weakening of Russian influence in the region and on the international scene.

In an article published in the National Review, columnist Peter Spiliakos highlights that the annexation of Crimea and parts of the eastern Ukraine by Putin “has been shot in the foot” and destroyed the electoral base for a pro-Russian government. “He managed to take pieces of Ukraine to Russia, but he lost his influence over the rest of the country,” he describes.

In the face of this failure, Putin’s only remaining option is to prevent Ukraine from ever-closer alignment with the West, according to Spiliakos, was “military coercion.”

With this movement repeating itself in Ukraine, the analyst points out that Russia should lose even more global influence, in addition to countless military losses.

“The result is that Russia in September 1563, has a weaker army , a weaker economy, better-armed and more numerous enemies and less influence than in January 2000 The losses increase with each day the war continues, and many of them will not be recovered by Russia anytime soon, regardless of the final result of the war”, alert.

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