Why “referendums” in the occupied territories of Ukraine are impossible, – Mykhailo Podoliak, Zelensky’s advisor

Ukraine is trying to convey information to international organizations about the need to comply with an international convention. Mykhailo Podolyak, Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, stated this on the air of the UA TV channel.

The so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” wants to judge foreigners in the occupied territory. They face punishment up to the death penalty, and there is no moratorium on it. How does Ukraine react to this?

We have a whole range of activities. Of course, we are trying to find all ways to influence the Russian Federation. But let’s agree right away that there are no “Donetsk People’s Republic” or “Luhansk People’s Republic.” These are the criminal gangs that will conduct the trial. But in fact, the court will fall under the legal responsibility of the Russian Federation. We want to convey this to the Russian Federation so that they understand that they will violate certain conventions. And in this case, all the servicemen who were taken prisoner are combatants.

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That is, people who are subject to the full legal rights of the Ukrainian army, regardless of whether they are foreigners or citizens of Ukraine. They have relevant contracts with our Ministry of Defense, or with the relevant industry divisions, and so on.

Naturally, we are working with international institutions, asking them to show their functional commitments. This includes the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN, and relevant other international institutions. We ask for assistance in explaining to Sergey Lavrov at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that all this will result in great legal consequences for the Russian Federation.

So far, international institutions, unfortunately, do not show any activity. They probably want to walk down the Amnesty International road.

In addition, we are negotiating at the level of headquarters, which is engaged in the exchange of prisoners. It is impossible to imagine a situation where ordinary militants arrange some kind of “trial” for propaganda purposes for their criminal community, and so on.

Russia is obliged to immediately withdraw troops from the territory of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, its immediate environs, as well as from the entire territory of Ukraine. This is stated in a joint statement of 42 countries of the European Union. Energoatom states that there is a risk of violation of radiation safety at the nuclear power plant. What can be done to prevent disaster?

This is a real systemic problem. It’s not even a problem of orders from Russian militants. The quality of education in Russian society is extremely low. That is, people are fighting there who do not understand at all what nuclear energy is. They are so stupid that one can fear simply the excesses of the performers.

Of course, the security of the ZNPP is under threat. Not even because someone wants to take some targeted action to blow up the station, but simply because there are Russians there who have demonstrated the lowest possible level of collective intelligence.

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Destroying headquarters of PMC “Wagner” in Popasna – is this a big loss for the occupiers?

All strikes on logistics support are effective today. This is a key tactic for counter-offensive and de-blockade of territory. These are headquarters at the managerial and operational level, these are warehouses with fuel, warehouses with shells, warehouses with other elements necessary to support one or another enemy grouping.

Of course, a blow to the PMC headquarters is very important psychologically. After all, such private military companies are mainly recruiting lawless people. Now personally the curator of the PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is recruiting through colonies in the Russian Federation. Those who were convicted of murder, violence, mass robbery, and so on are recruited from the colonies.

This contingent is driven into PMCs and given the task of acting out, cutting, killing, raping in order to create panic and thus support the morale of their army. The Russian army does not fight on some positive symbols. She fights on fear, on detachments. And inside there should be a feeling of permissiveness.

Several military analysts warn of attacks by the invaders on the Independence Day of Ukraine on August 24. What can you say, what are the Kremlin preparing for?

Russia wants to attack precisely peaceful infrastructure, especially large cities, in order to make society panic, demoralize it and put pressure on the government to agree to any Russian demands. Accordingly, the Russian Federation still has a certain reserve of resources, including cruise missiles, which it can use.

Therefore, you need to follow the safety protocol: if you hear an alarm, go to cover. We need to learn to live within this security protocol for a while. It is necessary.

On the other hand, it is not necessary, of course, to scare people all the time. People should live in peace, but at the same time remember that the Russian Federation is at war with us. At any moment, it can strike with cruise missiles at any city in the country. Therefore, as soon as the siren starts to work, you need to go for cover. This is a very important aspect.

Invaders continue to prepare for a pseudo-referendum in Kherson region, and in the Donbas, they are going to hold it after the complete occupation. How can these processes be stopped?

They have almost stopped it. There are no “referenda”. They can’t organize or carry out anything. Support for the Russian army is zero, maybe 5-6%. These are the most frostbitten people who really like it when they come to their house, rape their neighbors, blow up neighboring houses, and they clap their hands. For example, several crazy people are running around Mariupol, who say how cool it is now. A sane person would not behave like this.

They need to organize a big production, bring people from somewhere in Russia, not even from Crimea. After all, after the explosions at military facilities, people leave the peninsula en masse.

Partisans are actively working in the Kherson region. Do you think a lot of people who want to go to play some kind of staged story that everyone at the polling stations clap their hands and say that they want to join?

In short, “referendums” are impossible, because there are no legal grounds, no subjects for their holding. There is a territory of Ukraine where there is only an occupying army. It is impossible to bring extras from Russia there, because the fighting is going on. The fighting will only escalate, especially strikes against logistics. And, finally, the last argument: what is the “Russian world”? This is the destroyed Mariupol. Who will vote for this?