In a resolution promoted by members of the Greek community in Donetsk, calling for a vote to join the Russian Federation, the correspondent of the “NM” network (New Mariupoli) met with the head of the “Democratic Social Organisation” of the Greeks of the Azov region, Elena Prodan.
According to Defense Point, when asked why Greeks in the region decided to support the ongoing referendum, he replied that this was expected, as “the Greeks of the People’s Republic and the Greeks of the Russian Federation have started many collaborations in the last three months and this fruitful collaboration should continue and strengthen”.
“We have been in close contact lately and therefore expected to become a member of the big family of Greeks in Russia,” said Prodan. According to correspondents in Russia, 43 local associations of Greeks meeting in the village of Anadol decided to support the “yes” vote in the referendum.
Of course, it is not known how many Greeks they represent, who in total were more than 100,000 before the war.
The Kremlin-installed governments of the four Russian-occupied areas of internationally recognised Ukraine have all declared victories in the annexation referendums.
Authorities published claims that an unprecedented majority of residents said yes to joining Russia on Tuesday evening.
Moscow could officially claim the regions – around 15 per cent of Ukraine – within days. Russia’s parliament has earmarked October 4 to consider annexation, according to Reuters.
The polls, which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced along with the partial mobilisation last Wednesday, have been blasted by the West as a sham.
In Kherson, the head of the voting committee put the “yes” vote at above 87%.
Luhansk authorities said 98.4% of people there had voted to join Russia. In Zaporizhzhia, a Russian-appointed official put the figure at 93.1%.
Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said 99.2% of participants in the region had voted to join Russia.
“The referendums are over. The results are clear. Welcome home, to Russia!” Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev, a former president who serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on Telegram.
Denis Pushilin, the head of the Russia-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, said that the next steps would be signing an annexation agreement that would be ratified by Russia’s legislature.
In a remark that appeared to rule out further negotiations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the UN Security Council by video from Kyiv that Moscow’s attempts to annex Ukrainian territory will mean “there is nothing to talk about with this president of Russia (Vladimir Putin)”.
Hastily arranged votes had taken place over five days. The four occupied regions — some partially under Russian control — make up about 15% of Ukrainian territory.
Earlier, Moscow has vowed to give annexed regions of Ukraine “full protection,” which could also involve the use of its nuclear arsenal, as the legal pretext would let Putin and the Kremlin portray any Ukrainian attempt to recapture them as an attack on Russia itself.
Ukraine has repeatedly warned that the Russian annexation of additional territories would destroy any chance of peace talks seven months after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of the country in late February.
The European Union have both labelled the referendums as illegitimate, while the UN insisted on the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its recognised borders in light of the incoming results.
Russian state-owned news agency RIA said the initial counts showed majorities ranging from 96.97% in the Kherson region, based on 14% of votes counted, to 98.19% in Zaporizhzhia, based on 18% of the count.
The majorities in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were just under 98%, with 14% and 13% respectively of votes tallied.