For Ukraine, it does not matter whether Russia conducts a popular vote imitation show on the captured lands as these regions are legally Ukrainian territory so the goals of liberating them haven’t changed.
That’s according to Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar, who spoke in an interview with the Iceland YouTube channel, Ukrinform reports.
“That is, it won’t work out even if it looks like a referendum. Maybe they will invent some other techniques. But the question is not whether they hold it or not. It doesn’t matter at all. Legally, this is our territory and the intentions to liberate the temporarily occupied areas won’t change. It doesn’t matter to us, what status is of these lands in for them,” said Maliar.
She added that the occupation administrations tried to draw lists of residents of the temporarily occupied areas and ran surveys. Ukrainian intelligence has obtained the results of these polls, and they say people are not ready to be involved in any psyops called “referenda.”
At the same time, Maliar recalled that the Ukrainian law entitles Ukrainian government authorities to conduct certain operations in the temporarily occupied territories.
“This is work of which we can report nothing, but it is being done. As a result, the Russians could not hold referendums throughout all this time in the occupied areas. According to our intelligence, people who were assigned by the Russians in the temporarily occupied territories reported over the previous two weeks that they were exhausted and could do nothing,” said Maliar.
According to the official, there are people in the temporarily captured territories who put up resistance, but there are also cases of collaboration, which at the same time never reached the levels observed back in 2014.
“And I assure you that the Ukrainian government knows everything about them, we have all the names of those collaborators who, during the full-scale war, flipped to the enemy’s side,” Maliar added.
As reported, on September 20, the leaders of the “L/DNR” and collaborators in the Russian-occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions announced the so-called “referendums on joining Russia” and scheduled them for September 23-27.
Ukraine and the leaders of Western countries have already declared that any Russian fictitious “referendums” in Ukraine will be illegitimate.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 21 that Russia recognizes the results of staged “referendums”.
Meanwhile, the results of the sociological research show that in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the vast majority of respondents are sure that their region should be an integral part of Ukraine, and their well-being and security have significantly worsened since the occupation.
In particular, almost 73% of respondents consider the territorial claims of the Russian Federation on their region to be completely unfounded. Also, 82% of respondents in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine answered that they would not go to the referendum if the Russian Federation held it in their city.
As reported, in the wake of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in eastern and southern Ukraine on September 20, the leaders of the “LPR/DPR” and collaborators in the Russian-occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia regions rushed to announce “referenda on accession to Russia,” scheduling them for September 23-27.
The leaders of Western powers have already declared that any Russian sham referenda in Ukraine would be deemed illegitimate. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 21 that Russia would recognize their outcome.
Meanwhile, a survey run in August 2022 by Active Group shows that in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the vast majority of respondents are sure that their region should be an integral part of Ukraine, and that their well-being and security have significantly deteriorated amid the occupation.
In particular, almost 73% of respondents consider Russia’s territorial claims on their region to be completely unfounded. Also, 82% of respondents in the temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine said they would not go to polling stations if Russian puppet authorities resorted to holding a referendum.