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Russia: If residents of Donbass want to join Russia ‘we will support them’ - Duma Speaker Volodin02:27

Russia: If residents of Donbass want to join Russia ‘we will support them’ - Duma Speaker Volodin

Russian Federation, Moscow
сентябрь 20, 2022 at 21:49 GMT +00:00 · Published

Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that he was ready to support Donbass residents if they voted in favour of becoming part of Russia, while speaking during a plenary session on Tuesday.

"Now the choice is theirs. … And they should understand today that we expect them to express their will freely," Volodin stated.

The State Duma also adopted a package of amendments to the Russian Criminal Code in the second and third readings. The deputies unanimously approved the inclusion of the concepts of 'mobilisation', 'martial law' and 'wartime'.

The words 'in situations of armed conflict or hostilities' were replaced with 'during mobilisation or martial law, in wartime or in conditions of armed conflict or hostilities.

'Looting’ will now carry a sentence of up to 15 years, while 'voluntary surrender’ now has a penalty of three to ten years in jail.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilisation of 300,000 reservists on Wednesday, saying it was to protect the sovereignty of both Russia and four regions holding referenda on joining the federation.

The local administrations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), and those set up in Zaporozhye and Kherson after they came under Russian control, unveiled the plans on Tuesday.

Putin also vowed to support the results of the votes, saying that Russia will do everything "to provide the safe environment for referenda" and let the people "express their will".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described them as 'sham' referenda', while his spokesperson Sergei Nikiforov claimed that after the votes there would be no chance for a diplomatic solution.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the planned referenda 'an additional provocation', adding that his country would not recognise the outcome, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the results would not be accepted because "they are not covered by international law".

US President Joe Biden alleged that "Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the UN Charter" and also posed 'overt nuclear threats’ towards Europe. EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell stated "that the political leadership [of Russia], as well as all those involved in these 'referenda' and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, additional restrictive measures against Russia will also be considered".

Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, after recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR. Kiev condemned the action, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered martial law and his own full mobilisation in February.

Russia: If residents of Donbass want to join Russia ‘we will support them’ - Duma Speaker Volodin02:27
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Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that he was ready to support Donbass residents if they voted in favour of becoming part of Russia, while speaking during a plenary session on Tuesday.

"Now the choice is theirs. … And they should understand today that we expect them to express their will freely," Volodin stated.

The State Duma also adopted a package of amendments to the Russian Criminal Code in the second and third readings. The deputies unanimously approved the inclusion of the concepts of 'mobilisation', 'martial law' and 'wartime'.

The words 'in situations of armed conflict or hostilities' were replaced with 'during mobilisation or martial law, in wartime or in conditions of armed conflict or hostilities.

'Looting’ will now carry a sentence of up to 15 years, while 'voluntary surrender’ now has a penalty of three to ten years in jail.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilisation of 300,000 reservists on Wednesday, saying it was to protect the sovereignty of both Russia and four regions holding referenda on joining the federation.

The local administrations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), and those set up in Zaporozhye and Kherson after they came under Russian control, unveiled the plans on Tuesday.

Putin also vowed to support the results of the votes, saying that Russia will do everything "to provide the safe environment for referenda" and let the people "express their will".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described them as 'sham' referenda', while his spokesperson Sergei Nikiforov claimed that after the votes there would be no chance for a diplomatic solution.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the planned referenda 'an additional provocation', adding that his country would not recognise the outcome, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the results would not be accepted because "they are not covered by international law".

US President Joe Biden alleged that "Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the UN Charter" and also posed 'overt nuclear threats’ towards Europe. EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell stated "that the political leadership [of Russia], as well as all those involved in these 'referenda' and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, additional restrictive measures against Russia will also be considered".

Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, after recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR. Kiev condemned the action, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered martial law and his own full mobilisation in February.