Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko told Newsmax on Wednesday that people conducting the "fake, sham" referendum vote in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories should be "prosecuted."
Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to annex areas of Ukraine where it has military control after referendums there reportedly endorsed Moscow's rule.
"This is definitely not a referendum. This looks like in the Gulag under the gun, they asked the prisoner to trust or to support the guardian with the machine gun," Petro Poroshenko told co-hosts Rob Finnerty and Alison Maloni on "Wake Up America."
"That's why it is not possible to be a referendum under the machine gun. … Everybody who participated in organizing, keeping and supporting and providing this fake, sham referendum should be prosecuted for attacking Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The United States and Albania planned to introduce a resolution at the United Nations Security Council condemning referendums held by Russia in occupied regions of Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Tuesday.
"If Russia uses a veto right on the draft resolution, this is just recognition for the Russian responsibility," Poroshenko told Newsmax, "and with that situation we definitely need a special session of the General Assembly of the United Nations because all the nations now make an absolutely clear signal to Russia: Stop, because you are pushing the world to the Third World War and a nuclear catastrophe. Don't do it."
Poroshenko, who served as Ukrainian president between 2014-19, said people in his country have separated themselves from Russia in recent years.
"We live now in absolutely different times," he told Newsmax. "Eight years ago, when I started to be president, we were infected by the 70 years of the Communism. And now these eight years were a clear vaccination."
Poroshenko said no Ukrainian could vote to support a country that allegedly has committed war crimes resulting in the discovery of mass graves.
"Every participant, every inhabitant of this occupied territory definitely would be against Russian world," said Poroshenko, who then was asked about reports that Russian troops have entered towns calling for "Nazis" to step forward.
"Definitely this is very poisoning, the Russian propaganda, and now it's not only the responsibility of Putin himself," Poroshenko said. "This is the responsibility of the whole Russian people.
"Everybody can come to Ukraine and see we are a free, European, democratic nation. This is just an instrument [by which] Russia wants to erase Ukraine from the world map. That's why it's so difficult to compromise – Russia wants to kill us."
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