STORY: Ukraine will not be swayed by any nuclear threats from Moscow or annexation votes held on its territory, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters on Tuesday.
“We believe the war can only end when we have liberated our territory in the internationally recognized borders of 1991. That’s it, we have no other scenarios. There, Russia is conducting some referendums where 20,000 people – under pressure – in the region of 1.6 million residents took a decision to so-called be a part of Russia. And we're supposed to accept this model or else a nuclear weapon will be used? So that we will give away Zaporizhzhia region together with the city of Zaporizhzhia? This is nonsense and it is unacceptable for us.”
Podolyak spoke as Russia concluded voting in four partially-occupied Ukrainian regions that Moscow says paves the way to their formal annexation.
In tandem, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that Moscow could be ready to use tactical nuclear weapons to defend newly annexed territory.
Podolyak called on the world's nuclear powers to warn Russia against doing so.
“We don’t have technologies to intercept this type of strategic ballistic rockets. That’s why it would be good if not Ukraine thinks about how to prevent the possible attack by the Russian Federation, but also other countries. Even if we're scared, do we really have an alternative option to continue further liberating our territory."