Russia’s struggle in Ukraine

A service member of the self-proclaimed Luhansk Folks’s Republic (LPR) casts his vote throughout a referendum on becoming a member of LPR to Russia, at a navy unit in Luhansk, on Friday. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The continuing referendums within the Russian-occupied areas and Russian mobilization in these areas are crimes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated in a nightly handle on Friday.

They “will not be simply crimes towards worldwide regulation and the regulation of Ukraine. These are crimes towards particular folks, towards the nation,” he stated.

4 Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine started voting in referendums on becoming a member of Russia, in accordance with their separatist leaders, in a transfer that raises the stakes of Moscow’s invasion seven months after combating started.

“The world will react completely pretty to the pseudo-referenda — they are going to be unequivocally condemned, in addition to to the prison mobilization that the occupiers are attempting to hold out in Crimea and different components of Ukraine that they nonetheless management,” Zelensky added.

Ukraine’s president urged folks within the Russian-run areas to assist to weaken the occupation.

“Should you do get into the Russian military, then sabotage any enemy exercise, intrude with any Russian operations, cross us all essential details about the occupiers — their bases, headquarters, ammunition depots. And on the first alternative, be a part of our positions. Do all the pieces to avoid wasting lives and assist liberate Ukraine,” he added.

Counteroffensive: In the meantime, Ukrainian forces have recaptured about 9,000 sq. kilometers of territory (3,500 sq. miles) “because the starting of lively actions within the east of our nation,” Zelensky stated.

“Almost 400 settlements have been liberated. This tangible end result has been achieved on account of the truth that our folks within the quickly occupied territory assist us. Please do all the pieces to extend such help,” Zelensky added.

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