1 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday said Russia’s mobilisation order is a sign of panic at the Kremlin, that should not be taken as a direct threat of full-out war with the West.
“The mobilisation, calling for referenda in the Donetsk, it is all a sign of panic.
3 “It is all part of the rhetoric we know.
4 I would advise to remain calm,” he added.
6 The vote will pave the way for the formal annexation of swaths of territory by Russia after nearly seven months of the war with its neighbour, a former Soviet republic.
7 The self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), which President Vladimir Putin recognised as independent states just before the invasion on Feb. 24, have said they want referendums on joining Russia from Sept. 23 to 27 – that is from this Friday to Tuesday.
8 The Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, which are yet to be recognised as independent states by Russia, have also said they will hold their own votes.
9 Russia does not fully control any of the four regions, with only about 60 per cent of the Donetsk region in Russian hands.
11 Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. With Crimea and the territory in the four other regions, Russia would gain an area about the same size as the U.
12 S. state of Pennsylvania.