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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K425: How the Kremlin Is Forcing Ukrainians to Adopt Russian Life
They have handed out Russian passports, cellphone numbers and set-top boxes for watching Russian television. They have replaced Ukrainian currency with the ruble, rerouted the internet through Russian servers and arrested hundreds who have resisted assimilation.
In ways big and small, the occupying authorities on territory won by Moscow’s forces are using fear and indoctrination to compel Ukrainians to adopt a Russian way of life. “We are one people,” blue-white-and-red billboards say. “We are with Russia.”
Now comes the next act in President Vladimir Putin’s 21st-century version of a war of conquest: the grassroots “referendum.”
Russia-appointed administrators in cities like Kherson in Ukraine’s south are setting the stage for a vote as early as September that the Kremlin will present as a popular desire to become part of Russia. They are recruiting pro-Russia locals for new “election commissions” and promoting to Ukrainian civilians the putative benefits of joining their country.
Any referendum would be totally illegitimate, Ukrainian and Western officials say, but it would carry ominous consequences. Analysts in Moscow and Ukraine expect that it would serve as a prelude to Putin’s officially declaring the conquered area to be Russian territory, protected by Russian nuclear weapons — making future attempts by Ukraine to drive out Russian forces potentially much more costly.
Kherson is one of four regions in which officials are signaling planned referendums, along with Zaporizhzhia in the south and Luhansk and Donetsk in the east. While the Kremlin says it will be up to the area’s residents to “determine their own future,”
As a result, a scramble to mobilize the residents of Russian-occupied territories for a referendum is increasingly visible on the ground.
The Russian-appointed authorities of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, for instance, announced that they were forming “election commissions” to prepare for referendums, which one official said could happen Sept. 11 — a day when local and regional elections are scheduled to be held across Russia.
“Russia is beginning to roll out a version of what you could call an annexation playbook,” John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said last month.
美國國家安全會議發言人柯比上月表示，「俄國開始大量鋪陳一個你可稱之為併吞劇本的版本」。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6533747