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Eastern Express 28.09

Following the defeat suffered by the Russian army in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which had been occupied since March 2022, the Russian authorities had decided, by means of the puppet authorities of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, to hold a pseudo-referendum on the annexation of the territories of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions to the Russian Federation. The sham vote was held between September 23-27.

It is already clear that draft laws on the annexation of these Ukrainian areas are to be submitted to the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, on September 28. They will then be considered at an emergency session the following day. The process will reach its conclusion on September 30, the day when Putin plans to address both houses of parliament, the Federal Assembly Рto announce the annexation of the occupied areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions.

Putin plans to use the sham vote to claim that Ukraine is invading Russian territory and in consequence threatens to use nuclear weapons to defend itself. Russian military doctrine allows for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an attack on Russian territory.

This episode further covers topics of Latvia imposing a state of emergency on its border with Russia, Russian men fleeing mobilisation to other Asian countries, Ukrainian authorities promising Moldova to help their country in the event of electricity shortages, and the ongoing protests in Iran.

To shed more light on these issues, TVP World invited Volodymyr Yermolenko – analytics director at Internews Ukraine and associate professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

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