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Pink Floyd’s Waters Cancels Poland Concert events After Ukraine Conflict Remarks

A second day of so-called referendums on becoming a member of the Russian Federation has been held in 4 Ukrainian areas partially occupied by Moscow — votes dismissed as a sham by Ukraine, the West, and the United Nations as a result of they’re unlawful below worldwide legislation.

The vote in Russian-controlled areas of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya areas is being held within the midst of the biggest battle in Europe because the finish of World Conflict II runs counter to the UN Constitution and takes place amid claims by some native officers that voters had been being threatened and intimidated.

There are not any unbiased observers, and lots of the prewar inhabitants have fled. The 4 areas characterize round 15 p.c of Ukraine, or an space the scale of Hungary.

The Ukrainian navy Common Employees mentioned on September 24 that “workers of the ‘election commissions,’ accompanied by armed servicemen of the navy of the Russian federation” had been amassing signatures of native residents straight at their houses.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the world to sentence “pseudo-referendums” meant to annex Ukrainian lands.

“The world will react completely justly to pseudo-referendums — they are going to be unequivocally condemned,” Zelenskiy mentioned in his nightly handle to the nation on September 23.

Within the Ukrainian capital, about 100 folks from the Russia-occupied metropolis of Mariupol, which is a part of the Donetsk area, gathered to protest the referendum, masking themselves in Ukrainian flags and carrying posters “Mariupol is Ukraine.”

In Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden harshly condemned the transfer and warned that extra sanctions will observe for Moscow.

“Russia’s referenda are a sham — a false pretext to attempt to annex elements of Ukraine by drive in flagrant violation of worldwide legislation,” Biden mentioned on September 23.

“We’ll work with our allies and companions to impose extra swift and extreme financial prices on Russia,” he added in a press release.

White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre advised reporters that the USA was ready to degree extra financial penalties on Russia, in lockstep with allies, if Moscow tried to annex extra Ukrainian territory.

The vote unexpectedly introduced this week as Russia decreed a partial mobilization got here as Ukrainian forces mentioned they had been clawing again territory from Moscow-backed separatists within the very territories Russia needs to annex.

Ukrainian officers mentioned folks had been forbidden from leaving some occupied areas till the five-day vote was over.

Polling stations will solely function on the fifth day, September 27, with officers citing safety causes.

The Ukrainian Common Employees mentioned in a Fb submit that on the bottom, Russia “has not stopped placing the civilian infrastructure and the houses of civilians.”

It added that, through the night time, the town of Mykolayiv was subjected to rocket fireplace from Russian occupiers, however info on civilian casualties was not initially obtainable.

Ukraine’s presidential workplace mentioned on September 24 that the newest Russian shelling had killed at the very least three folks and wounded 19. Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Zaporizhzhya area, mentioned a Russian missile hit an condominium constructing within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhya, killing one individual and injuring seven others.

Serhiy Hayday, Ukraine’s regional governor in Luhansk, mentioned in a submit on Telegram that Russian authorities banned folks from leaving for a number of days to make sure votes.

“We now have experiences from those who the so-called ‘voting commissions’ coming to residences to file votes are accompanied by folks with weapons…. If the doorways to the residences will not be opened, they threaten to interrupt them down,” he mentioned, including that anybody voting “No” was written down in a ledger by the commissioners.

In Kherson, Serhiy Khlan, a Ukrainian deputy within the regional council, advised RFE/RL on September 23 that the polling stations opened by the Russian-appointed officers within the area had remained largely empty, prompting them to start out going house-to-house to gather votes “at gunpoint.”

Dwell Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Dwell Briefing offers you all the newest developments on Russia’s ongoing invasion, Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Western navy support, international response, Russian protests, and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s protection of the battle, click on right here.

The referendums have been condemned as an illegitimate, choreographed precursor to unlawful annexation.

The transfer comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a partial navy mobilization on September 21 amid obvious heavy personnel losses within the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that Moscow began in February.

Zelenskiy urged Ukrainians in occupied areas to undermine the referendums and to share details about the folks conducting “this farce” and referred to as on residents to attempt to keep away from Moscow’s mobilization.

“Cover from the Russian mobilization by any means,” Zelenskiy mentioned. “Keep away from conscription letters. Attempt to get to the free territory of Ukraine.”

The mobilization announcement has triggered an exodus of in a position Russian males scrambling to go away the nation to keep away from being drafted, with visitors at frontier crossings with Finland and Georgia surging and costs for air tickets from Moscow sky-rocketing.

The Kremlin has additionally proven little need to masks its true aim over the balloting, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters in Moscow on September 23 that he was “satisfied” Russia will proceed “fairly rapidly” with taking on the areas if the vote is profitable.

The incorporation of the 4 areas would permit Moscow to painting any strikes to retake them as an assault on Russia itself — probably utilizing that to justify even a nuclear response.

Ukraine says it should by no means settle for Russian territorial takeovers whereas NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg mentioned the alliance will ramp up its assist for Kyiv in response to the “sham” referendum.

The Group of Seven industrialized economies on September 23 condemned the referendums as a “sham” with “no authorized impact or legitimacy.”

“We’ll by no means acknowledge these referenda, which seem like a step towards Russian annexation, and we are going to by no means acknowledge a purported annexation if it happens,” the G7 leaders mentioned in a press release.

Moscow has deported about 1.6 million Ukrainians from these areas to Russia, in line with Western estimates, whereas additionally busing Russian residents into Ukrainian territory.

It has additionally seized the non-public and biometric knowledge of a whole bunch of hundreds of Ukrainian residents at so-called “filtration camps,” opening the door, specialists say, to poll manipulation.

Nikolai Bulayev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Election Fee, mentioned he anticipated “a whole bunch of hundreds” of Ukrainians at present in Russia to participate within the referendum.

Russia has little historical past of holding free and truthful elections, with poll stuffing, voter intimidation, outright fraud, and media manipulation frequent practices. It held the same unlawful vote in 2014 after occupying Ukraine’s Crimea area. Only a few international locations have accepted the outcomes of the vote.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP


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