Ukraine condemns Russia's plans to hold presidential elections in Ukraine's occupied territories

Ukraine on Saturday (December 9) strongly condemned Russia’s plans to hold presidential elections next spring in Russian-occupied Ukraine.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the planned elections were “invalid” and vowed that any international observers sent to monitor them would “face criminal liability.”

The Russian Parliament on Thursday set a presidential election for March 17, 2024.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy on Friday, extending his oppressive and hard-line rule over Russia for at least another six years. He will win for sure.

Russian authorities plan to arrange votes in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, which Moscow illegally annexed last September but does not fully control, as well as in the Crimean peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Russia previously held local elections for Russian-installed parliaments in these occupied areas in September. Kyiv and the West denounced the votes as a sham.

“We call on the international community to firmly condemn Russia’s intention to hold presidential elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine and to impose sanctions on those involved in their organization and operations,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

(This article is based on an Associated Press report.)

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