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Sep 6, 2022
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Ukraine threatens to take revenge on “collaborators”

In the photo: Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk

In the photo: Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk (Photo: ZumaTASS)

Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk threatened with prison the inhabitants of the liberated territories for participating in a referendum on unification with Russia. She urged Ukrainians not to go to the polls if they do not have the opportunity to leave the region.

According to her, in case of such violations, Ukrainians will face up to 12 years in prison with confiscation of property.

“For our citizens who will take part in this, this is indeed an article of the Criminal Code. They face criminal penalties. If collaboration is proven, or, for example, participation in a referendum, or inducement to participate in a referendum, then people can get up to 12 years with confiscation, ”she said on the air of the United News telethon, adding that the West does not recognize any referenda and no Russian sovereignty over Ukraine.

“And if it so happened that people are forced to stay in the uncontrolled territories, not to take part in any referendums under any pressure, no forcible coercion,” Vereshchuk said.

Recall that the authorities in the Russian-controlled territories of Ukraine talked about plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia in the summer, but did not name the exact dates.

August 31, mayor of Berdyansk Alexander Saulenko said that a referendum on the status of the city and the liberated territory of the Zaporozhye region will be held in September.

On the same day, the Chairman of the Government of the Zaporozhye region Anton Koltsov He said that in Zaporizhzhia the preparation of normative legal acts for a referendum is underway, the region expects to become part of Russia with a ready-made base that determines the activities of local authorities.

On the eve of the deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said that the inhabitants of the region demand a referendum because of the constant shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

August 24 head of the DPR Denis Pushilin announced the republic’s readiness to hold a referendum on joining Russia. According to him, the DPR is only waiting for the allied forces to reach the borders of the republic. The next day, Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party Andrey Turchak said that referendums on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics would take place, since these republics are the territory of Russia.

A number of questions arise: does it make sense to hold referendums in the DPR and LPR, where they were already in 2014? And in other liberated regions – until the end of the SVO. Especially in the partially liberated? How about in other areas? Hold referendums as they are released?

And does it even make sense? Vereshchuk is right: no one recognizes the results. The US State Department has already stated that they are considering the possibility of imposing new sanctions against Russia after the referenda.

Then why are they so afraid of the fact itself? In 2014, there were also threats, but they did not really work …

“Of course, they can’t do anything,” I’m sure. political scientist Alexander Dudchak.

– Unless, to detain, arrest, any participant in the referendum, if he gets into the territory of the former Ukraine, controlled by Kyiv.

“SP”: Are these threats effective? Will they affect anyone?

– It is unlikely that they can scare. Rather, on the contrary, they will incite people to express their desire to have nothing to do with a terrorist state. But people should have absolute confidence that Russia will not give up the territories referred to in the referendum. I think that such confidence should be, despite the events of the beginning of the NWO.

SP”. In 2014, they were also intimidated. What is the similarity, and what is the difference between the situation today?

– Then intimidation had even less chance – there was an example of the Crimea, and many were sure that it would also be the case with the territories of the LPR-DPR.

“SP”: Isn’t it too early, in your opinion, to hold referendums? Maybe wait for the completion of the SVO? And are they needed on the territory of the DPR and LPR, because they were already there in 2014, and their results are more than eloquent…

– By and large, there is no such urgent need for a referendum. In the LNR-DNR, it was held. In the liberated territories, it is mostly carried out not “for themselves”, but for the so-called “world community” – so that no one will ever have any reason in the future even for hypothetical claims to the legality of Russia’s actions. This is an attempt to revive international law and the principle of acting according to law – all this was killed by the West with aggression against Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, the separation of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia, a coup in Ukraine etc., etc. Russia is trying to return the world to common sense and observance of laws, commitments and agreements. But in this case, Russia is eradicating the resurgent Nazism and, historically, regaining its own.

“SP”: But the “world community” does not recognize anything. Will the results of referendums really affect anything in practice?

– These are the problems of the world that does not recognize. Peace, security guarantees, stability, prospects are more important for people living in the liberated territories than someone’s recognition or non-recognition.

“SP”: How could you predict turnout and voting results in different regions?

– It is unlikely that the turnout will be very high – after all, not everyone will be at home, have the opportunity to vote. And the threat of terrorist attacks in the form of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is high. This is a more significant threat than the deprivation of liberty of voters by the Ukrainian authorities. But still, we can expect a quite acceptable turnout, 60-70 percent.

“At referendums, unlike elections, a quorum is provided, which is why Ukraine blackmails voters: failure to appear at polling stations can lead to the fact that the plebiscite will lose legitimacy,” explains historian, publicist, permanent expert of the Izborsk club Alexander Dmitrievsky.

“SP”: How real are these threats? Is it possible to accuse a person of collaborationism for participating in a referendum?
– First of all, these threats are directed at the members of the election commissions, and not ordinary voters. A simple voter can always say that he was forced to appear at the ballot box, and it is impossible to control the expression of will. But the members of the commissions are another matter: their actions, or inaction, are capable of disrupting the process.
“SP”: Do you think it is worth waiting for some more attempts to disrupt the referendums?
— Definitely worth it: Kyiv will stop at nothing. Therefore, there will be threats, and blackmail, and murders, and terrorist attacks.
“SP”: Isn’t it too early, in your opinion, to hold referendums?

– Firstly, let’s not rush things: there have been no official statements about the appointment of referendums yet. As for the non-recognition of referendums, let them not recognize them: we do not intend to look back at their double standards.

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