The positions of Ukraine will not change following the Kremlin’s announcement via its proxies in the occupied territories about holding "referendums"on annexing more Ukrainian territory to Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sept. 21.
“Our positions are clear and well known,” Zelenskyy said. “This is the only thing we should be interested in. Not in some noise somewhere, but in our goal.”
He called for even more support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrianian intelligence agencies, the National Guard, police, border guards – everyone who is gradually restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
“Our positions don’t change because of some noise or announcements,” the president said. “We have the full support of our partners in this.”
In addition, Zelenskyy said it was necessary for Ukraine and its allies to continue to maintain pressure on Russian and their unity so as to protect Ukraine, to liberate its land, and not to show any weakness.
Earlier, Kremlin-controlled authorities on the territory of the occupied Donbas announced the dates of sham referendums on accession to Russia. Representatives of militants in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts stated that the sham voting would take place Sept. 23-27.
Kremlin-installed officials in Kherson Oblast also announced plans to also hold a “referendum” on “joining” Russia on the same dates.
Russia appears to be trying to intimidate Ukrainians with threats of harsh responses if it tries to liberate any of the territory seized by Russia. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that any strikes against Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory will be regarded as attacks on Russia itself, after which he said there would be a “tough response.”
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak said Russia's blackmail regarding the holding of sham referendums in the temporarily occupied territories was the product of “the fear of defeat.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in other comments said that none of the pseudo-referendums that Russia is trying to organize in the occupied territories would help its position.