Moscow-backed authorities staged sham referenda in four regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. The Kremlin announced it will move forward with its purported annexation of these regions of Ukraine despite Russia not fully controlling these areas.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the “Kremlin’s sham referenda,” calling them “a futile effort to mask what amounts to a further attempt at a land grab in Ukraine. To be clear,” he added, “the results were orchestrated in Moscow and do not reflect the will of the people of Ukraine. The United States does not, and will never, recognize the legitimacy or outcome of these sham referenda or Russia’s purported annexation of Ukrainian territory.” Russia’s attempts at annexation of Ukrainian territory violate international law and are an affront to the principles of international peace and security.
“Russia has forced much of the population in areas it seized to flee and compelled Ukraine’s citizens that remained to cast ballots at gunpoint, in fear for their safety, and the safety of their loved ones,” reported Secretary Blinken. Ukraine’s people have consistently expressed their desire for a free and democratic future. Their soldiers are fighting bravely, and citizens in Russia-controlled areas of Ukraine are resisting Moscow’s efforts to change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders by brute force.
The United States and its allies and partners will continue to assist Ukraine in its fight to defend its territory against Russia’s aggression. “We wholeheartedly support Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” declared Secretary Blinken.
President Joe Biden has said, “we will never recognize these areas as part of any country other than Ukraine, and we will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.” He also warned that the United States will “impose additional swift and severe economic costs on Russia.” The United States stands with its partners around the world in rejecting whatever fabricated outcomes Russia announces. “We will continue to support the Ukrainian people and provide them with security assistance to help them defend themselves,” declared President Biden, “as they courageously resist Russia’s invasion.”