This is the opposite of free and fair elections.German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock denouncing Russia’s announcement that they will annex four regions of Ukraine, making the regions a formal part of Russia.
Background: Russian forces conducted an election in four regions of Ukraine earlier this week. Russia reported that Ukrainian residents largely supported the notion to join the Kremlin, though governments and media outlets have shared that people were coerced and threatened into voting.
Why It Matters: Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold a ceremony on Friday to fold four regions of Ukraine into Russia. Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union, and typical Russian allies such as Serbia and Kazakhstan have all said they will not recognize the annexation. The U.S. and other allies have announced additional aid for Ukraine and will place increased economic sanctions on Russia.
- In a press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, “Russia’s actions are transparently fraudulent and have no legal significance whatsoever. We will never recognize these illegal and illegitimate attempts at annexation.”
- Ukrainian President Zelensky told the United Nations, “Another attempt to annex the territory of Ukraine will mean that there is nothing to talk about with this president of Russia.”
- Russia, however, is planning a ceremony in Moscow to mark the annexation. Pres. Putin’s spokesman stated that agreements “on the accession of new territories into the Russian Federation” will be signed “with all four territories that held referendums and made corresponding requests to the Russian side.”
- The U.S. announced a new $1.1 billion security package to aid Ukraine to help forces defend themselves from Russia for “as long as it takes.” The U.S. has provided more than $16 billion in security aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, 2022. New sanctions on Russia, imposed by both the U.S. and European Union, are expected in the coming days.
Kremlin will annex 4 regions of Ukraine on Friday (The Associated Press)
Pentagon will double powerful HIMARS artillery for Ukraine (The Washington Post)
by Jenna Lee,