Podcast "Ukraine - The Situation": Referendums are "pure farce"


Podcast "Ukraine – the situation"
Security expert Claudia Major: referendums in eastern Ukraine are "pure farce"

Preparations for the referendum in Donetsk

Preparations are also being made in the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk for a "referendum" on joining Russia. The elections are scheduled to run until Tuesday, after which a rapid annexation by Moscow is expected

© Nikolai Trishin/ / Picture Alliance

Military expert Claudia Major has described the sham referendums that started on Friday in eastern Ukraine about joining Russia as an attempt at blackmail that the West should not allow itself to get involved with. That's what she says in star-Podcast "Ukraine – the situation".

Military expert Claudia Major has described the sham referendums that started on Friday in eastern Ukraine about joining Russia as an attempt at blackmail that the West should not allow itself to get involved with. With the votes, Russia wants to spread the fear that further support for Ukrainian attempts to retake the areas will have unforeseeable consequences, Major said in the stern podcast "Ukraine - the situation". "We have to resist this mechanism of exerting pressure," said the head of the security policy research group at the Stiftung Wissenschaft in Politik. The only reaction could be to explain and name the intention to blackmail, the support for the Strengthen Ukraine and talk about new sanctions if Ukrainian territory is actually annexed.

"Escalation from a position of weakness"

major rated the sham referendums and the partial mobilization in Russia as well as the draconian threat of punishment for deserters as "escalation from a position of weakness". With the call-up of reservists, the war has reached Russian families – this increases the domestic political risks for the regime in Moscow, but also the danger of a further increase in repression against the country's own population. "It's incredibly difficult to say how this will turn out," Major said. At the moment the Russian repressive apparatus is apparently working. In addition, civil society structures have been destroyed in recent years, so that it is not clear who can be the bearer of a protest and the advocate of change. "I think it's unfortunately, unfortunately, naïve to hope for a quick change now," she said.

Claudia Major: "I think nuclear escalation is very unlikely"

The political scientist pointed out that Putin has long used nuclear threats to influence decisions in the West and stir up fear. Major said: "I can't look inside Putin's head, but I think a nuclear escalation - for example the detonation of a tactical nuclear weapon - is very unlikely." She spoke out in favor of continuing to support Ukraine, while at the same time making it clear that the West does not want to overthrow Putin and his government.

Editor's note: Security expert Claudia Major is replacing Carlo Masala. She will be heard in another episode.

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