Russian referendums “fabricated and manipulated”, according to the White House

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the “bogus” Russian referendums in occupied Ukrainian territory “fabricated and manipulated” and “straight from the Kremlin’s playbook”. Jean-Pierre also said the White House is in contact with European partners over the “apparent sabotage” of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and supports efforts to investigate the explosion, but stressed that any investigation “could take a while.” time”.

Russia was set on Wednesday to formally annex parts of Ukraine where the occupied areas staged a Kremlin-orchestrated ‘referendum’ on life under Moscow rule that the Ukrainian government and the West have denounced as illegal and rigged. Armed troops had gone door to door with election officials to collect ballots in five days of voting. The oddly high margins in favor have been widely ridiculed and branded a bogus land grab by Russian leaders increasingly cornered by embarrassing military losses in Ukraine.

Moscow-based administrations in the four regions of southern and eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday evening that 93% of the votes cast in the Zaporizhzhia region supported annexation, as did 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk. . “Forcing residents of these territories to fill out papers with the barrel of a gun is another Russian crime during its aggression against Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said, adding that the ballot was “a propaganda show” and “null”. and worthless.

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Christi C. Elwood