Nuclear weapons and family separation: what are the consequences of Russian annexations? – News

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week annexed four Ukrainian territories to the gigantic and extensive Russian map. The process was formalized after a controversial referendum in which the people of Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia allegedly agreed to leave Ukraine.

The vote, which comes amid the war between the two countries, was widely criticized by Western world leaders, who insist that they will not recognize the new lands annexed by Russia.

Amid the dispute over territory that makes up about 15% of Ukraine’s total area, what are the practical effects for people living in these regions?

O R7 interviewed experts who explained that the consequences of the annexation formalized by Putin range from the separation of Ukrainian families to the possible use of nuclear weapons during the war.

ESPM professor of international relations Gunther Rudzit says that the first impact is the transformation of the citizens of that place into Russians. Then, with the territories under Moscow’s possession, any attack by Ukraine could be considered an attack on Russia.

“Politically, these territories become part of the Russian Federation and, therefore, with Ukrainian forces advancing, President Putin can claim that the territorial integrity of the country is at risk and declare full mobilization. And, in the extreme, justify the use of a tactical nuclear weapon against these forces”, says Rudzit to the R7.


Douglas Galiazzo, professor of human rights at Estácio, explains that families may have a greater difficulty seeing each other, in addition to Ukrainian cultural issues suppressed by Russian power and ideology.

“The population will no longer be Ukrainian, it will live under the regime, way of life, currency and politics of Russia. It will also make contact with relatives in other regions of Ukraine difficult”, highlights Galiazzo. “This is preventing these roots of the population of this Ukrainian people with all the consequences, from even having another culture”.

For the professor of human rights, the result of the annexation is “incalculable and unimaginable” from the point of view of the people who live in this region.

According to information released by the EFE Agency, about 92.74% of voters in the region of Zaporizhzhia, bathed by the Sea of ​​Azov, supported Russian annexation, according to the counting of more than 92% of the votes. In the case of Kherson, on the border with Crimea, after counting 75% of the votes, more than 86% voted yes. The West, however, does not trust these numbers.

Rudzit says governments in countries like the United States and Canada, or organizations like the European Union, can do little in the face of Russian annexation.

“[Outros países podem fazer] what they did when in 2014 Russia annexed Crimea: not recognize it. Specific sanctions for the region and their political leaders are important, nothing much more than that”, emphasizes the professor.



What are Russian intentions with the annexations?



When Putin began what he calls a “special military operation,” Russia’s president was primarily aimed at helping the separatist forces in Donetsk and Lugansk. Since 2014, men commanded by the Kiev government have battled with local militias for the liberation of the region.

Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, however, entered the Russian president’s map during the current war with Ukraine. Putin even incorporated the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – considered the largest in Europe – to Russian properties.

The speech of the beginning of the war on the liberation of Donetsk and Lugansk no longer exists, as Putin annexed these regions. And in Galiazzo’s view, the Russian president aims to relive the times of the Russian Empire.

“The intentions of the Russian State are to return to being the Russian Empire, from the great achievements of Peter the Great. [Putin] wants territory, different, for example, from a China, which wants to maintain economic hegemony.”


Rudzit, for his part, believes that Putin is looking for a way to justify the war, especially after the Ukrainian counteroffensive that generated the mobilization of more than 500,000 Russian reservists. All these moves, however, could add to instability in Europe, which is already suffering without Russian gas.

“The biggest impact is on the electorate, who can see this annexation as a real threat, and support their governments in this difficult moment with the energy crisis. As well as not questioning the support they are giving to Ukraine. In the long term, the strengthening of European unity and the strengthening of NATO.”


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