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Ukraine has 'every right' to defend territory after Russian polls, US says

Ukraine has 'every right' to defend territory after Russian polls, US says
Referendums in Russian-occupied territories 'prebaked,' ensured to give Moscow pretext for 'land grab,' says State Dept

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - Ukraine has "every right" to continue to defend its sovereign territory after Russia held referendums in four areas under its occupation to provide a "pretext" to annex more Ukrainian territory, the US said Wednesday.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the results of the polls, denounced by the West and its allies as "shams," were "prebaked," all but ensuring they would provide Moscow with the basis it sought to seize and carry out a "land grab."

"The United States will never recognize Russia's attempts to annex parts of Ukraine. Quite the opposite. We will continue to work with allies and partners to bring even more pressure on Russia and the individuals and entities that are helping support its attempted land grab," said Price.

The US will take additional steps "in the coming days" to respond to the polls, he added.

Minutes earlier, the White House announced $1.1 billion in military assistance to bolster Kyiv's forces as they seek to build on military successes in routing Russia from Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region.

It includes new HIMARS long-range rocket systems, hundreds of armored vehicles, radars and counter-drone systems.

Moscow claims more than 98% of voters chose to join Russia following referendums in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The votes have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US terming them a "sham" and saying they will not be recognized.

source: News Feed
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