World The Ukrainians involved in Russian referendums will be continued for treason
Russia’s annexation gamble: Why is Putin raising the stakes?
Russian political insiders say move to formally seize Ukrainian territory underscores Moscow’s refusal to back down.“There is no doubt that Russia has crossed the Rubicon,” said Konstantin Zatulin, a senior lawmaker in the State Duma from the ruling United Russia party.
Ukraine-crise: the Ukrainians involved in Russian referendums will be prosecuted for treason
by Tom Balmforth
Kyiv, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainians who contribute to referendums to attach Russia will be accused of treason and will incur at least five years in prison, said the Ukrainian presidential advisor , while the vote in the four regions entered its last day.
"We have lists of names of people who have been involved in one way or another," said presidential advisor Mikhaïlo Podolyak in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick.
Kremlin claims victory in controversial Ukraine referendums set to pave way for annexation
Pro-Moscow officials say residents in four occupied areas of Ukraine have voted to join Russia in a Kremlin-orchestrated vote that has been dismissed by the US and its Western allies as illegitimate. Pro-Moscow officials said all four occupied regions of Ukraine voted to join RussiaAccording to Russia-installed election officials, 93 per cent of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhia region supported annexation, as did 87 per cent in the Kherson region, 98 per cent in the Luhansk region and 99 per cent in Donetsk.
"We are talking about hundreds of employees. They will be prosecuted for treason. They risk prison terms of at least five years," he said.
Mikhaïlo Podolyak also specified that the Ukrainians forced to vote would not be penalized. Ukrainian officials said they had seen civil servants transporting ballot boxes in front of the homes of forced people to vote by the security forces.
Moscow seeks to annex the provinces of Kherson, Louhansk, Donetsk and Zaporijia, to the east and south of the country, or about 15% of Ukrainian territory.
None of these provinces is entirely under Russian control. The fighting continues throughout the front line, and the Ukrainian forces reported new advances in a fifth province, Kharkiv at the beginning of the month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russian territory, which would include the four provinces in the event of annexation.
The vote of attachment to Russia, which began Friday in the four regions, is due to end on Tuesday. The Russian Parliament could approve the annexation in the coming days.
According to the British Defense Ministry, Vladimir Putin could announce the annexation of the Ukrainian regions occupied at the Russian Federation during his speech in Parliament on September 30.
(Reuters report, written by Michael Perry and Costas Pitas; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Kate Entringer)
Russia’s Lavrov vows ‘full protection’ for any annexed territory .
Ukraine says Lavrov’s comments raise possibility of use of nuclear weapons, condemns them as ‘totally unacceptable’.Lavrov’s comments at a news conference in New York City on Saturday came as residents of four Russian-occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine continued voting on whether to join Russia.