Washington, Sep 6 (EFE).- The United States warned Wednesday that Russia will manipulate the results of local elections held next Saturday in four Ukrainian regions annexed by Moscow.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing that these so-called elections are an illegitimate sham and that they expect the outcome to be predetermined and manipulated.
Residents of the Russian army-occupied areas in the annexed Kherson, Lugansk, Donetsk, and Zaporiyia regions have already started going to the polls in the regional assembly elections, Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said Monday.
These are the first Russian municipal and regional elections in these regions, annexed by Russia in September 2022 following a referendum that neither Kyiv nor the international community recognized.
The elections, which will take place across the country on September 10, will be held even though the Russian military controls only two-thirds of Kherson, just over half of Donetsk, and is ceding territory in Zaporiyia, where Kyiv announces almost daily advances towards the Sea of Azov.
Putin signed in September 2022 the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions in an attempt to lay a land corridor with the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which Kyiv is now trying to break by all means.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (legislature) has passed a motion appealing to all parliaments and governments worldwide not to recognize these elections. EFE