Moscow annexation 'referendums': Zelensky hails Western support

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday downplayed the significance of Russian annexation “referendums” while hailing Western condemnation of the plan.  

“I thank all of Ukraine's friends and partners for their massive and firm condemnation of Russia's intentions to hold yet another pseudo-referendum,” he said in his traditional address.

He downplayed the importance of urgently calling these “referendums”. 

“Referendum ” annexation by Moscow: Zelensky hails Western support

“There was some pretty loud news today from Russia. But what happened? What has been new compared to what has already been said before?” he wondered. 

“Our position does not change based on this noise or any other announcement,” added the head of state, calling for “maintaining pressure” on Russia. “Let us preserve our unity, protect Ukraine, liberate our land and show no weakness,” he urged. 

Authorities installed by Moscow in four regions of Ukraine announced on Tuesday the urgent holding of annexation “referendums” by Russia from September 23 to 27, in the midst of the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled that “these mock referendums are not acceptable”. The United States denounced “sham” elections. 

French President Emmanuel Macron castigated before the United Nations General Assembly “a return to the age of imperialism and colonies” , shortly after calling the announced polls a “parody”.

These votes, on the model of the one that formalized the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea (south) by Russia in 2014, denounced by Kyiv and the West, have been under preparation for several months.