Illegal elections in the Temporarily Occupied Territories (TOT) of Ukraine are a gross violation of international law by Russia, as well as an attempt to legitimize the occupation of Ukrainian territory in the eyes of the world community. On September 10, 2023, the Russian Federation will hold elections at various levels, including elections in 79 municipal unions of the Russian occupation administrations of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, which are controlled by the Russian armyKeep Reading
Putin Demonstratively Humiliated the UN and the West by Upcoming Elections in the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine
On September 10, 2023, elections of various levels will be held in the Russian Federation, including by-elections of State Duma deputies, elections of heads of 26 regions (21 – direct and 5 – through parliamentary voting); deputies of legislative bodies of state authority in 16 subjects of Russia, as well as elections of 79 municipal unions of the Russian occupation administrations of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts of Ukraine, occupied by the Russian army. The holding elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine (TOT) is a gross violation of international law, as well as an attempt to legitimize the occupation of Ukrainian territory in the eyes of the world community
The full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine with the aim of occupying it resulted in a complete fiasco for Putin – the “three-day” victorious war turned into a year and a half of massacre, in which the Russian army suffered the largest casualties since 1945 and lost a huge amount of military equipment. The so-called SMO, which is a war of aggression, unveiled the myth of the “second army of the world” fighting on the patterns of the First World War and caused serious image losses to Putin: the whole world became convinced that Russia is a colossus on clay feet, asymmetrically weak, although and a big country. Accordingly, the Kremlin has revised its policy on the occupied territories of Ukraine and seeks to fully integrate them into the Russian Federation, removing all attributes of Ukrainianness. This is a deliberate, purposeful occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Ukraine: the elections to the TOT on September 10 will be an echo of last year’s referendums and will strengthen the Kremlin’s occupation permissiveness in the internationally recognized territories of Ukraine. Needless to say about the terror and coercion during the upcoming election: acts of expression of will of Ukrainians who are under Russian occupation will take place at the machine guns’points of the Russian occupiers, like it was on September 23-27, 2022, during illegal referendums, when Putin declared 18 % of the territory of Ukraine (parts of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions) new regions of the Russian Federation. During these events, members of the election commissions were forced to go around the houses and apartments of Ukrainians with ballot boxes, accompanied by armed soldiers, because the local residents rejected to vote for joining the Russian Federation. This year, we can expect a repetition of such a scenario, and after the elections, the repression against the residents of the TOT of Ukraine will intensify. Forced mobilization into the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, deportation to economically backward, remote regions of the Russian Federation, adoption of Ukrainian children by Russian families, settlement of Russians in the empty houses of deported local residents – this is not a complete list of the alleged crimes of the occupying power, which it will begin to carry out against Ukrainians.
An important goal of the Kremlin in the elections is to legitimize this process in the eyes of the world community. For this reason, the Russian Federation will involve international observers, as it was during last year’s referendums in the TOT of Ukraine. Some of these observers in their comments repeated the narratives of Russian propaganda, justifying the referendums. In particular, these are Serbian citizen Dragoslav Bokan, British citizen Vanessa Beeley, Italian citizens Eliseo Bertolasi, Gianfranco Vestuto and Gianantonio Micalessin, German citizens Thomas Röper and Christoph Hörstel, French citizens Chanclue Andre MichelClaude, Emmanuel Leroy, etc. Putin wants to create the appearance that the West agree with Russia’s occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s further freedom of action in these territories. The presence of European observers at the elections in the TOT of Ukraine will mark a shameful act of anti-solidarity not only with Ukraine, but also with those EU countries that support Kyiv and will become a kind of “census” of odious pro-Russian public figures in Europe.
The elections in the TOT is dangerous for the West, i.e., Putin is setting a precedent for changing the frontiers that are considered inviolable in Europe – according to the Helsinki Accords of 1975. The Kremlin does not ignore the norms and principles of international law: it seeks to implement the practice of forcibly changing borders. This will lead to a series of wars and conflicts that can destabilize Europe with the flow of refugees and socio-economic crisis. Putin’s attempt to question the borders existing in the post-Soviet space may cause, in turn, a change of borders in Europe. Ignoring this threat will only bring it closer to the civilized West and make it more vulnerable to Russia.
Elections in the TOT violate the UN Charter, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They confirm the impossibility of holding peace talks with the Russian Federation until the complete withdrawal of its troops from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. The Russian Federation should receive severe sanctions and find itself in international isolation – this will be a logical response to Putin’s efforts to occupy the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
The NATO Summit in Vilnius Demonstrates the Growing Western Support of Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the most important component of guaranteeing Ukraine’s security was weapons. Accordingly, NATO member states will supply the Armed Forces with everything necessary for victory over Russia to come. Financial assistance to Ukraine from the member countries of the Alliance is also increasing. Thus, on July 11, it became known that Norway increased the package of military aid for Ukraine up to $930 million. 2023 Vilnius summit confirmed that NATO understands the importance of supporting Ukraine, which is a guarantee of European security. The war in Ukraine confirmed Kyiv’s right to be part of NATO: after the victory over Russia, Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance
Ukraine’s NATO membership became the most significant issue atthe Alliance Summit in Vilnius. In the conditions of a full-scale war unleashed by Putin, it became obvious that NATO must respond to the challenges and threats from Russia. Accordingly, assistance to Ukraine and the timely supply of necessary weapons became a priority for NATO countries. Moscow received a strong signal that the West will continue to support Ukraine, and Putin will in no way be able to influence Ukraine’s entry into the Alliance. Russia’s isolation in the international arena will increase: the terrorist state, trying to change the existing world order, will face new sanctions. The dialogue with it will become toxic.
Ukraine is effectively developing bilateral cooperation with NATO member countries. In particular, an agreement was reached with Sweden on cooperation in the field of defense procurement, France will supply SCALP long-range missiles for Su-24M of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The “thousand cuts” strategy has itspractical results: Russia is exhausted and bloodied – this is a merit of the Armed Forces, which skillfully use modern Western weapons.
The result of the Vilnius Summit is NATO membership of Ukraine after the end of the war. The cancellation of the MAP for Ukraine was a step that will significantly speed up Ukraine’s path to the Alliance and eliminate a number of bureaucratic aspects. The West demonstrated strong support for Ukraine, which after the war will become one of the most influential countries in Europe and an effective shield against Russian aggression.
NATO Summit in Vilnius Is a Historic Opportunity to Strengthen the Alliance
The war of conquest launched by Russia against Ukraine has eliminated any illusions about the Kremlin’s pseudo-peaceful sentiments. Putin has been preparing for years for the occupation of Ukraine and the subsequent continuation of aggression against Europe.Keep Reading
Accelerated NATO Membership for Ukraine Is an Urgent Decision
The invitation of Ukraine to the Alliance will be on the agenda of NATO Summit in Vilnius (July 11-12, 2023). To date, there are no predictions yet. According to experts, the accelerated membership, desired by Kyiv and the countries of Eastern Europe, following the example of Sweden and Finland, is not considered yet, but still exists on the agenda. Many members of the Alliance, fearing risks and threats to their security, support the accelerated invitation.Keep Reading
Vladimir Putin, speaking at a plenary session at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, said that he has “a lot of Jewish friends” andthey say that “Zelenskyy is not Jewish, he is a disgrace to the Jewish people.” The Moscow Times writes about this https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2023/06/16/putin-says-zelensky-a-disgrace-to-jewish-people-a81540, specifying that this was Putin’s answer to Dimitry Simes, the Channel One presenter [he moderated the plenary session with the participation of the President of Russia]. He said that the West did not understand Ukraine’s accusations of Nazism, since President Vladimir Zelenskyy was Jewish.Keep Reading
Putin Uses Ballistic Missiles against Kyiv, Killing Ukrainian Children
On June 1, on Children’s Day, the Russians committed another war crime: as a result of an attack with 10 Iskander ballistic missiles on Kyiv, 3 civilians who were sleeping in their homes were killed, among them a child and his mother. This latest heinous crime committed by the Russians symbolizes the terrorist nature of Putin’s Russia, which is committing genocide against Ukrainians at Putin’s behest.Keep Reading
Ukrainian children need help from around the world because of aggression by the Russian Federation.
The war unleashed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine which has been characterised by extreme cruelty and the suffering of civilians. To date, more than 77,000 facts of war crimes by the Russian army have been logged in Ukraine. This list includes murder, humiliation, rape, destruction of private property, forced deportation, forced detention of Ukrainians in the occupied territories, pillage on a massive scale, and more. But the worst thing is that among the victims of war in Ukraine are a significant number of children.Keep Reading
Russian aggression and full-scale invasion turned millions of Ukrainians into refugees, forcing them to seek asylum in friendly nations of the European Union. After the Russian incursion into Ukraine in February 2022, the EU for the first time in its history activated the so-called Temporary Protection Directive to receive refugees from Ukraine. The TPD offered those fleeing war immediate temporary protected status in the EU and a harmonized package of rights in the areas of accomodation, education, healthcare, and employment. Since war-start, about 16 million Ukrainians have arrived in the European Union, of which 11 million have already returned to Ukraine, while some moved on to other countries. Since the EU crisis mechanism was activated a year ago, more than 3.8 million refugees from Ukraine have received temporary protection in the European Union. This option, valid until March 2024, may be extended for another year, until 2025.Keep Reading
The Kremlin is creating an network of his «supporters» among thenational diasporas of various countries. It used freedom of speech in European countries, holding and promoting pro-Russian rallies, which are, in fact, provocations and the threat of mass riots. Now, Putin is trying to flood the EU with mercenaries from the PMC. They are trained killers and terrorists. Migration control over the RF’s citizens trying to enter the EU (even from third countries) should be strengthened. Even if it is necessary to cancel the granting of Schengen visas to Russians. This is the key to maintain peace and stability in Europe. After all, terrorists and mercenaries enter the EU under the guise of Russian migrants and political refugees. They will perform the Kremlin’s task of destabilizing Europe there.Keep Reading