Medvedev: Donbass Referendums are Crucial for Restoring Historical Justice
07:14 GMT 20.09.2022 (Updated: 20:57 GMT 19.10.2022)
On Monday, the Civil Chambers of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics urged the local government to hold referendums to join Russia. The call came as Russia goes ahead with its special operation to "demilitarize and de-Nazify" Ukraine.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev has underscored the significance of holding referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics
(DPR and LPR, respectively).
“Referendums in Donbass are of great importance not only for the systemic protection of the residents of the LPR and DPR as well as those living in other liberated territories [in eastern Ukraine], but also for the restoration of historical justice,” he wrote in his Telegram channel on Tuesday.
Medvedev also stressed that after the DPR and the LPR join Russia, the country can use force to protect itself, because encroachment on its territory will be considered a crime, which he said would "allow Russia to use all means of self-defense." He added that none of the future leaders of Russia could reverse the decision on the Donbass republics joining the country.
"That's why Kiev and the West are so afraid of these referendums. That's why they need to be held,” Medvedev underlined.
According to him, “after holding [referendums] and accepting new territories as part of Russia, the geopolitical transformation in the world will become irreversible.”
The remarks come as DPR head Denis Pushilin said that specialists in the Donbass republics' administrations had started actively studying the issue of preparing a referendum on joining Russia.
“Since yesterday evening, specialists from the heads' administrations […] have already begun a very active study of the issues [related to the referendum],” Pushilin told the Solovyov Live show, adding that he has no doubt regarding the results of the referendum.
This was preceded by the head of the DPR Civil Chamber Alexander Kofman calling on the republic's authorities to hold a referendum to join Russia "immediately".
“It's time to erase the non-existent border between our states, as it has long been erased in our hearts, and to hold a referendum on the issue of the DPR joining the Russian Federation,” Kofman stressed.
He also said that the DPR's people want a Russian border to separate them from Ukraine. Earlier on Monday, the LPR's Civil Chamber also expressed a desire that local authorities hold a referendum to join Russia. The head of the chamber later noted that holding a referendum is a matter of more than one day, but expressed hope that it will be held soon.
Ukrainian forces have been shelling the Donbass republics for eight years, since they declared independence following a nationalist coup in Kiev in 2014. Russia recognized the DPR and the LPR in February 2022 and signed friendship treaties with them. On February 24, Moscow responded to a request from the DPR and the LPR to protect them against Kiev's attacks by starting a special operation
to "demilitarize and de-Nazify" Ukraine.