Russia votes to annex occupied territories, warns against use of strategic nuclear weapons

◀ anchor ▶

Russia has begun annexing four occupied Ukrainian territories into its own territory.

The referendum also started today.

It is intended to define itself as an invasion of Russian territory for other countries to send troops to these areas.

Western countries strongly condemned it, saying that it was clear that the results of the voting would be manipulated.

This is reporter Cho Myung-ah.

◀ Report ▶

A man in Donetsk, Ukraine, casts a yes or no vote and then places it in the ballot box.

A vote placed open in a transparent ballot box clearly reveals the pros and cons.

For five days from today, Russia has held a referendum asking for Russian annexation in four occupied territories in Ukraine.

[도네츠크 주민]

“We want to go home as soon as possible. We want them to take us to the Russian regime.”

While the United States and other Western countries protest that it is a fake vote, concerns about the possibility of nuclear war are growing after Russia annexed the territory.

It is expected that once the occupied territory is declared Russian territory, an attack on Ukraine will be considered an attack on its territory.

[드미트리 오레스킨/리가 자유대학 교수]

“I will declare that the occupied territory is Russian territory and demand Russia’s right to use nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, the day after Putin suggested the use of nuclear weapons, Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian National Security Council, threatened to use strategic nuclear weapons for territorial defense.

Strategic nuclear weapons aim to destroy large cities or industrial parks, which President Putin warned of as a more immediate threat the day before.

The world has taken an urgent response to Russia, which has been at a disadvantage in the Ukraine war, and has repeatedly mentioned the nuclear issue as an anti-war card.

[안토니우 구테흐스/유엔 사무총장]

“The unthinkable nuclear conflict has become the subject of controversy. This in itself is completely unacceptable.”

[토니 블링컨/미국 국무부 장관]

“All members of the Security Council must send a clear message that this reckless nuclear threat must be stopped immediately.”

The European Union has decided to impose an eighth sanction against Russia, saying that it cannot recognize Russia’s annexation vote.

Russia’s next move draws attention as pro-Russian countries that have been conspicuously neutral in the past have also joined the ranks of criticism.

This is Cho Myung-ah from MBC News in Paris.

Video commentary: Lee Yoo-kyung / Video editing: Namjoo Nam

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