The false referendums organized by Russia to annex four regions of Ukraine do not deceive anyone: it is a masquerade. In these places occupied by the Russian army, Russian soldiers go door to door or challenge Ukrainians on the street to get them to vote. How can they vote freely under the threat of an occupying army?
These referendums provoke strong protests. Their “they are in no way a legitimate expression of the will of the Ukrainian people who have consistently resisted Russian efforts to change borders by force” the G7 countries affirmed that they will never recognize them “illegitimate polls”. “Russia’s referendums are a spurious pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force”, US President Joe Biden said.
President Macron denounced it “parody of democracy” . Speaking to the United Nations, he said: “This war launched by Russia, in its very foundations, violates the principles of the only possible international order, the only one that can guarantee peace, that is, respect for national sovereignty and the intangibility of borders.”
Russia, which is a member of the Security Council, nevertheless has the duty and responsibility to implement the objectives of the United Nations: “To maintain international peace and security […]. Develop friendly relations between nations based on respect for the principle of equality and the right of peoples to self-determination and take all appropriate measures to consolidate peace in the world … “
But instead of taking this route, the Russian regime commits one crime after another and continues its headlong rush. He decreed the mobilization causing a wave of panic and exodus. He wields the nuclear threat again. He hopes that the frightened democracies will split up and give in to his blackmail.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainians continue to courageously defend themselves. They call on democratic countries to provide them with anti-aircraft defenses and to take action to prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons (1).
In this dangerous passage, we must remain calm and look to the essentials. We will never achieve peace over the ruins and dismemberment of Ukraine. If we surrendered, we would open the door to new wars and the endless blackmail of the Russian regime.
The defense of peace implies respect for the principles of the international order. It would be surprising if the views of democratic countries gave way just as the representatives of the Russian opposition, gathered at the Peace Forum in Caen, agreed to say that “Ukraine must regain its 1991 borders” and prepare for the democratization of Russia.
Don’t give in to fear. We effectively support Ukraine and the Ukrainians because they also defend our freedom and peace. We remain on the side of the Russians who work for freedom and democracy.
(1) Western France, 24-9-22.