After the Kremlin recognizes the “referenda” on the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of Ukraine, the Russian army will continue its offensive in the Donbass. This was announced by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, transmits Interfax.
“What can I tell you with absolute certainty? You know that not all of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been liberated. We are talking about the territory that is within the boundaries of 2014. Therefore, at least it will be necessary to liberate the entire territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” he specified.
According to Peskov, this is a top priority, since The Luhansk region is already completely under Russian control. Thus, the war will not end with the annexation of the occupied Ukrainian regions. “You will receive a more detailed answer over time if such documents are signed,” Peskov added, noting that only Vladimir Putin can make the decision to “reformat” the campaign.
Earlier, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasyl Nebenzya, warned that the “process” with “referendums” could “go further” if the Ukrainian leadership did not change its policy. “Today, the population of not only the Crimea and Donbass, but also the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions have turned away from Kyiv. And this process will inevitably go further if Kyiv does not realize its mistakes,” Nebenzya said.
On the eve of the “authorities” of the occupied territories of Ukraine reported almost one hundred percent support for joining Russia. The approval rate in the “DNR” and “LNR” was 99%. Slightly more modest results in Zaporozhye and Kherson region – 93% and 87% respectively. The regions that Russia is going to annex make up about 15% of the territory of Ukraine. They were partially or almost completely captured by the Russian army during the invasion.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, condemned the “referendums” on annexation. “This is another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine against the backdrop of systematic violations of human rights,” wrote he.
The European Union has already begun to prepare new sanctions against the Russian Federation, which will be a response to the annexation of the occupied regions. These include a ceiling on Russian oil prices and a ban on diamond imports.
The UN also announced the vote is illegitimate. “Referendums” in Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine “cannot be called a true expression of the will of the people,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo. She drew attention to the fact that voting was carried out not only at polling stations, but also with the help of door-to-door tours “accompanied by armed people.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington is not opposed to Kyiv using Western weapons to return the regions where “referendums” were held. “We will never recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia. Ukraine has the absolute right to defend itself throughout its territory, in particular, to return to itself the lands that were illegally seized by Russia in one way or another, ”Blinken emphasized.
The US is also planning to impose new sanctions against Russia. They were promised to be announced this week.