Zelensky: “The world will react”

Zelensky The world will react

Published: Less than 1 hour ago

Updated: Less than 40 min ago

full screen The “referendum” began on Friday. Here are people from Luhansk and Donetsk living in Crimea going to vote in Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea. Photo: AP/TT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls on the countries of the world to condemn the so-called referendums that Russia is pushing through in four occupied regions of Ukraine.

– The world will react completely fairly to the pseudo-referendums – they will be unequivocally condemned, he says in his evening speech.

Voting will take place in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions, starting on Friday. They are dismissed as a hoax by Kyiv and the West.

US President Joe Biden warned late on Friday of swift and sharp economic measures if Russia goes ahead with trying to annex the regions.

“Russia’s referendums are a sham – a false pretext to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine by force in a flagrant violation of international law,” the president said in a statement.

The outside world sees the election result as predetermined, just as when similar votes were conducted in connection with the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

The idea is that the people in the Russian-occupied areas should answer whether they want their regions to be incorporated into Russia. How many actually want and can vote is unclear. A large part of the population in the areas has already fled at the same time as fighting continues in several directions.