Day 212: Referenda Voting Begins, Lavrov Hits Back at West

Day 212: Referenda Voting Begins, Lavrov Hits Back at West
Photo: NPR Online News

The Facts

  • Voting began on Friday in four regions of Ukraine controlled by Russia regarding whether they would formally become part of the Russian Federation. The referenda are being held in the Luhansk, Kherson, and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. Ukraine and Western countries have denounced the votes.

  • Meanwhile, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov defended Russia's position regarding the war in Ukraine on Thursday, responding to accusations that Moscow had “shredded” international norms. Lavrov denied that Russia had committed war crimes and blamed Ukraine and the West for the conflict, saying that “the decision to conduct a special military operation was inevitable.”

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

The referenda being held in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are a brazen exercise in propaganda. Russia has no right to annex any Ukrainian territory, and these referenda are illegitimate. Thankfully, the votes will have no impact on the ground or on Ukraine's resolve.

Pro-Russia narrative

The referenda are being held openly and transparently, and the people of eastern and southern Ukraine have the full right to secede from those in Kyiv who have oppressed them. The move is also highly strategic, as Moscow's opponents will suddenly find themselves engaged in a war on Russian territory, both de facto and legally.

Establishment split



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