On September 23-27, the Russian Federation organized a propaganda show called “referendums” in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.
Forcing people in these territories to fill out some papers at the barrel of a gun is yet another Russian crime in the course of its aggression against Ukraine. Such actions severely violate the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as norms of international law and Russia’s international obligations.
This performance has nothing to do with expression of will and does not have any implications for Ukraine’s administrative-territorial system and internationally recognized borders. Ukraine and the international community condemn such actions of Russia and consider them null and worthless.
All citizens of Ukraine who took part in the organization of these acts together with the Russian occupiers will bear responsibility in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The competent authorities of Ukraine are already taking measures to track them down and bring them to justice.
The Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, like the Ukrainian Crimea, remain the sovereign territories of Ukraine. Ukraine has every right to restore its territorial integrity by military and diplomatic means, and will continue to liberate the temporarily occupied territories. Ukraine will never agree to any Russian ultimatums. Moscow’s attempts to create new separation lines or weaken international support for Ukraine are doomed to fail.
By organizing sham “referendums” in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Russia wilfully demonstrates that all of its signals of alleged readiness for negotiations are only meant to provide a cover-up to its armed aggression and helpless attempts to hold on to the temporarily occupied territories.
Russia consistently shows its contempt for all those who have been calling for diplomacy. We expect relevant countries to draw conclusions regarding Russia’s true intentions and increase their support for Ukraine in countering Russian aggression instead of abstaining from actions under the guise of their wish to play a role of peacekeepers that Russia does not need.
Ukraine calls on all states and international organizations to immediately condemn the illegal actions of the Kremlin in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and to increase the isolation of Russia.
Ukraine calls on the EU, NATO and the Group of Seven to immediately and significantly increase pressure on Russia, including by imposing new tough sanctions, and significantly increase their military aid to Ukraine, including by providing us with tanks, combat aircraft, armored vehicles, long-range artillery, anti-aircraft and missile defense equipment.
We call on our partners to make it clear to Russia that the only response to its attempts of annexation, blackmail, and ultimatums will be the increase of support for Ukraine so that it prevails over the aggressor.