December 5, 2022

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Israel to Not Recognize Referendum Conducted on Russian-Occupied Ukraine

3 min read

On Tuesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that it does not recognize the results of a referendum that was conducted in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, or held by separatists backed by Russia.

The Foreign Ministry stated that the country recognizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and the results of referendums that had been carried out in Ukraine’s eastern districts were not recognized.

Israel’s stance

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Prime Minister Yair Lapid has been critical of the country’s actions and has gone as far as referring to some of the actions of Moscow as war crimes.

Israel also chose to vote against the Russian Federation in the United Nations and also sent a lot of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

It had also set up a field hospital for assisting Ukrainians, but Israel has still been criticized by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for not providing Kyiv with military aid.

On Sunday, two severely injured soldiers from Ukraine had arrived in Israel for receiving medical treatment and the Ukraine Embassy in Israel said that 18 more would arrive in the next two weeks.

The embassy thanked Israel providing the Ukrainian soldiers with free care in the country’s leading hospitals.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that they had experience in amputees’ rehabilitation and their medical teams and hospitals would ensure the wounded can have a speedy recovery.

The referendums

Zelensky had repeatedly stated that any possibility of peace talks would be destroyed if Russia was to conduct ‘pseudo-referendums’ for annexing territories.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior figure in the Ukrainian administration, said that these referendums should see more international sanctions imposed on Russia and more military supplies to Ukraine.

This should include ATACMS, which is a guided missile, called the Army Tactical Missile System that boasts a range of 300 kilometers.

The White house said that if Moscow does annex areas of Ukrainian territory, they would impose additional economic costs, along with their allies.

However, since they have already imposed some severe sanctions on Russia, there is not a lot of economic punishment that they can dole out.

The only option is for the United States to get China and India to agree to impose price caps on Russian energy.

Russia’s plans

As far as Russia is concerned, it is planning on annexing about 15% of Ukrainian territory that is under the control of its troops, along with 3% that is not under its control.

This includes frontlines where soldiers from Ukraine are still fighting. These areas comprise a big part of eastern Ukraine called Donbas that has a high number of ethnic Russians.

Donbas has two parts, which are called the Luhansk’s People’s Republic (LPR) and Donestk (DPR), both of which had been recognized as independent states by Putin before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

In 2014, referendums had been held in the two areas on secession. If taken together, a total of 90,000 square kilometers would be annexed by Russia, which is approximately the same size as Portugal, or Hungary.

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