British Prime Minister Liz Truss told President Zelensky on Wednesday, Sep. 28 that the U.K. “would never recognize Russian attempts to annex sovereign territory,” following a series of sham referendums that were held over the last few days in parts of Ukraine currently under Russian occupation.

A Downing Street spokesperson said that in a phone call between the two leaders that Truss gave reassurance of the U.K’s “steadfast support in light of Russia’s sham referendums in Ukraine.”

“The Prime Minister made clear that the UK would never recognize Russian attempts to annex sovereign territory,” the spokesperson added, reporting that “[Truss] reiterated that Ukraine could depend on the UK’s support until President Putin was defeated.”

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During the phone conversation, Zelensky also welcomed the PM’s “strong backing”, and Truss thanked Zelensky for his part in negotiating the release on Sep. 21 of five British citizens captured in eastern Ukraine.

The results of several sham referendums in occupied Ukrainian territories were announced on Tuesday, Sep. 27 by Russian-backed proxies.

In occupied Kherson, following the counting of ballots, the Russian regional administration claimed 87.05% of voters voted to join Russia – while in Zaporizhzhia, the figure was announced as 93.11%, with 100% of the votes tallied.

In Luhansk, authorities of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic said that the number votes in favor of joining Russia had reached 98% by the evening of Tuesday, Sep. 27.

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The referendums, which were allegedly riddled with various forms of electoral fraud, including voter intimidation, have been condemned by the Ukrainian government and by many leaders of Western nations.

Among them was the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who issued the following statement shortly before voting took place:

“The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine. Russia’s referenda are a sham – a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter.

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“We will work with our allies and partners to impose additional swift and severe economic costs on Russia.

“The United States stands with our partners around the world – and with every nation that respects the core tenets of the UN charter – in rejecting whatever fabricated outcomes Russia will announce.

“We will continue to support the Ukrainian people and provide them with security assistance to help them defend themselves as they courageously resist Russia’s invasion.”

 

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