In the midst of the dispute in eastern Ukraine and after the controversy unleashed by the drive to hold referendums on annexation to Russia in territories of the donbass, the authorities of Kyiv targeted the Kremlin by spreading images of a ferocious counterattack by the forces led by Vladimir Putin in the region.
“Russian incendiary shells 9М22С falling on the recently liberated town of Ozerne in the Donetsk region”, noted from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Twitter.
In this way, the Defense portfolio in Ukraine released a video in which the moment of the Russian offensive on the disputed Donetsk region can be seen.
The counterattack launched by the Kremlin to recover the ground lost in recent days comes at a time when the authorities installed by Moscow in various regions of Ukraine today announced the urgent holding, between September 23 and 27, of referendums on annexation to Russia, in full kyiv counteroffensive.
Kremlin-backed efforts to add up to four regions could pave the way for Moscow to escalate the war after a string of Ukrainian battlefield successes.
The announcement of referendums starting Friday in Luhansk, Kherson and the partially Russian-controlled regions of Zaporizhia and Donetsk come after a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said the votes are necessary, and at a time when that Moscow is losing ground in the invasion it launched almost seven months ago.
The pro-Russian separatist territories of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the Donbas region (eastern Ukraine) as well as the Kherson (south) and Zaporizhia (southeast) regions, all occupied by the Russian army, announced these votes, a few days before the the country enters its eighth month of war.
Its integration into Russia would represent a great escalation of the conflict, since Moscow could justify its intervention in defending its own territory from the forces of Kiev. The referendums follow the model used by Russia to annex the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, a movement denounced by the international community.
Both Washington and Berlin and Paris denounced the future consultation and assured that the international community would never accept the results, while NATO considered that the consultations represent a “further escalation” of the conflict.
With information from AFP and AP