World: The Ukrainians involved in Russian referendums will be continued for treason

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Ukraine-crise: the Ukrainians involved in Russian referendums will be prosecuted for treason

Photo d'archives de Marioupol lors du référendum sur le rattachement de la République populaire autoproclamée de Donetsk à la Russie © Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko Photo of Archives of Marioupol during the referendum on the attachment of the Autoprochek People's Republic of Donetsk to Russia

by Tom Balmforth

Kyiv, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainians who contribute to referendums to attach Russia will be accused of treason and will incur at least five years in prison, said the Ukrainian presidential advisor , while the vote in the four regions entered its last day.

"We have lists of names of people who have been involved in one way or another," said presidential advisor Mikhaïlo Podolyak in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick.

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"We are talking about hundreds of employees. They will be prosecuted for treason. They risk prison terms of at least five years," he said.

Mikhaïlo Podolyak also specified that the Ukrainians forced to vote would not be penalized. Ukrainian officials said they had seen civil servants transporting ballot boxes in front of the homes of forced people to vote by the security forces.

Moscow seeks to annex the provinces of Kherson, Louhansk, Donetsk and Zaporijia, to the east and south of the country, or about 15% of Ukrainian territory.

None of these provinces is entirely under Russian control. The fighting continues throughout the front line, and the Ukrainian forces reported new advances in a fifth province, Kharkiv at the beginning of the month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russian territory, which would include the four provinces in the event of annexation.

The vote of attachment to Russia, which began Friday in the four regions, is due to end on Tuesday. The Russian Parliament could approve the annexation in the coming days.

According to the British Defense Ministry, Vladimir Putin could announce the annexation of the Ukrainian regions occupied at the Russian Federation during his speech in Parliament on September 30.

(Reuters report, written by Michael Perry and Costas Pitas; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Kate Entringer)

The end of Vladimir Putin? It might come sooner than you think .
The more the failures mount up, the less tenable Putin’s selective scapegoating becomes. He has replaced military leaders rapidly, and is now reportedly issuing orders directly to field commanders.Never mind Russian forces didn’t even fully control the territories Putin brought under the Russian flag. Never mind Russia’s “referendums” were a blatant fabrication – with voting often held at gunpoint.

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