UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemns Russia’s plans to declare the annexation of occupied parts of Ukraine, calling it “a dangerous escalation” that “has no place in the modern world.” If Russia moves ahead with its plans to annex four Ukrainian regions, it would mark a “dangerous escalation” that would jeopardize the prospects for peace in the region, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Thursday.
“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign documents on Friday proclaiming Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, as Moscow rushes to lock in territorial claims that the Ukrainian army is threatening to reverse on the battlefield. read more
The move, one of the legal steps Russia says will lead to formal annexation of 15% of Ukraine’s territory, confirms that Putin is pressing ahead with his war against Ukraine despite suffering a major military reversal this month.
The annexation, after what Kyiv and Western countries say were phony referendums staged at gunpoint on Russian-held Ukrainian territory, has been rejected in the West as an illegal seizure of land captured in war.
“Any decision by Russia to go forwards will further jeopardize the prospects for peace,” Guterres said.
“It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially in developing countries, and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond.”
Western leaders fear Putin planning huge escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Western leaders fear that Vladimir Putin is planning a huge escalation of Russias faltering invasion of Ukraine with a deadly nuclear strike or an attack on European interests, media reports said.
British and American spies believe there is ‘credible intelligence’ to suggest that the Russian President is preparing an attack that will turn the war effort in his favour, after coming to the realisation that the war was ‘a colossal mistake’, Daily Mail reported.
It comes as the US Embassy in Moscow is urging citizens to flee Russia amid fears that dual nationals could be drafted into its war efforts, The Mirror reported.
Embassy officials have said Russia may ‘refuse to acknowledge US nationals’ dual citizenship’, deny their access to consular assistance and ‘prevent their departure from Russia’.
The Embassy also warned that leaving Russia has become increasingly difficult with flights filling and Putin’s troops shutting down borders. Putin is understood to be planning land-grab of four regions said to have voted overwhelmingly to join Russia after sham referendums in which residents were marched to the ballot box at gunpoint, Daily Mail reported.
Hastily arranged votes had taken place over five days in the four areas – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – that make up about 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory.
But there is concern that Putin is planning a nuclear attack west of the regions that would create a radiation dead zone and put a halt to Ukraine’s so far successful counter-offensives, Daily Mail reported.
Another fear is that Russia is preparing a strike on western interests such as maritime communications cables.
Officials in the UK believe that Putin, as well as the Russian population, now understand the war was a ‘colossal mistake’, Daily Mail reported.
They also fear the partial mobilisation of 300,000 conscripts may be con to deceive the West into concentrating on Ukraine while he tried to leverage against support for Kiev.
It comes amid fears that Kremlin frogmen are responsible for the ‘deliberate’ sabotage of the Nord Stream gas supply pipeline in the Baltic Sea that has sent energy prices soaring.
Security sources told The Mirror that the leaks could act as a warning of similar assaults on communications cables.
They added: “Putin has almost run out of options which makes a tactical nuclear strike possible west of the four regions he is claiming.
“It is possible he believes this will be enough as a show of intent to get the west to back off, create a dead zone to halt the Ukrainian counter-offensive and claim victory in the east.
“But another possibility is an attack on the communication cables between the UK and America, many of which are European links to the States.”
Damaging internet communication cables could be ‘very damaging’ for the world’s financial markets.