Bratislava, September 21 (TASR) – Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO), writing on his Twitter account on Wednesday, strongly denounced the planned Russian “pseudo-referendums” in the occupied territories of Ukraine, calling this an attempt at illegal annexation that mustn’t be accepted.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) stated that he expects the Kremlin to use the results of the referendums in the Russian-occupied territories as “maskirovka” [Russian for military deception – ed. note], or tactics in other words, to legalise the annexation of occupied land and change the borders of the Russian Federation.
According to the minister, the Kremlin will defend the newly acquired “Russian” territories “with all available force”, and the West’s support of Ukraine’s military offensive in these lands will be viewed as an “attack on Russia”. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is preparing the ground for blackmailing the West with a nuclear strike,” remarked Nad, adding that this isn’t a groundbreaking development.
“Putin announced a similar scenario in a speech back on February 25, 2022. Even then, his threats were preparation for a path of retreat, which he is effectively following after six months of the war. Now there has been ‘political’ confirmation of this,” Nad opined on Facebook.
The Russian president announced partial mobilisation in his country on Wednesday ahead of four Ukrainian regions occupied by the Russians holding referendums on joining Russia. The aim of the mobilisation is to call up 300,000 reservists of the Russian armed forces.
On the previous day, representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as Russian-installed officials of occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts in southern and eastern Ukraine announced that they will hold referendums on joining Russia between September 23-27.