Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on Ukraine

New York, 27 September 2022

Merci Monsieur le Président et je remercie la sous-secretaire générale DiCarlo for ses informations toujours perspicaces et utiles.


I would like to start by a quote which reads: “Don’t believe those who try to frighten you with Russia and who scream that other regions will follow after Crimea. We do not want a partition of Ukraine, we do not need this”.

This is what the President of Russia, said in 2014. Everyone can judge by themselves. I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone since, for more than 9 months now, what we have heard from the Russian delegation here has little or nothing to do with what happens there, on the ground. Two parallel realities.

Now let’s have a closer look of what will be known as the Sham Referenda being conducted these days by an extensive use of Kremlin’s tricks.

With the latest escalatory decisions and the partial mobilization, war has finally entered in the Russian households and we have seen the reactions: Russians are resisting, they are protesting openly, and are massively leaving their country to escape drafting because they do not know why they should die in a war they do not want and do not understand.

In the city of Kherson, election officials went door-to-door with riot police. It is a well-known fact: when you vote at gunpoint, the process is more expedite.

The so called “voting” has been recorded on park benches, in shops. Even the makeshift booths in police stations better known locally as torture chambers, were put to that good use.

Elsewhere, doors have been broken down to facilitate the voting process. So much for the solemn moment of voting, so much for the OSCE rules and standards. Yet, the result is not in doubt.

The vote count, engineered in Moscow with an already scripted result, will reveal that residents would love to be ruled by the invading power, Russia.

The haste with which the Sham Referenda are being held makes it unlikely that the spectacle will convince anyone – including Russians themselves – of their legitimacy. Nobody in the world will take seriously the results of people voting at gunpoint, of a referendum in the ruins.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let’s make it clear, the sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson have nothing to do with democracy, nothing to do with free will of Ukrainians, nothing to do with any international election standard.

They are just a replay of the same old script applied in Georgia and Crimea; now they translate a desperate effort to hide failure, and a worthless attempt to legitimize conquest in the eyes of an incredulous and deeply troubled world.

Russia is projecting panic instead of power; instilling fear instead of force.

Why such haste? Because Ukraine army is astonishingly pushing Russia out. Russians were told that everything is going to the plan. It never did!  Russia knows that it is losing big. Therefore, what I have already qualified before as the “Russian Referendum Assembly Line”, was quickly put into action.

We don’t want more of Ukraine, said President Putin, in 2014. Suddenly, the appetite of Kremlin has grown: four fresh territories are on the menu, comprising no less than some 18% of the Ukraine territory.

Mr. President,

International Law prohibits the occupier to change borders.

Russia may claim that it has nothing to do with these plans, since they have been organized by the residents of the regions. But reality, now and in the recent past, has shown clearly that this is not true!

By mid-March 2022, Russian occupation authorities in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya appointed administrative leaders. According to the Ukrainian law, heads of local state administrations are proposed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and appointed by the president of Ukraine, not by Russian proxies.

The sham referenda are against the Constitution of Ukraine. A referendum can be called by the President or parliament, or by a public initiative involving the valid signatures of at least 3 million registered voters, with at least 100,000 such signatures from every oblast.

Furthermore, currently a Martial Law is in force in Ukraine, which prohibits the holding of elections or referendums of any kind.

Finally, according to UNGA resolution 3314, “annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State” is itself an act of aggression.

The sham referenda run against the UN Charter, against UN resolutions, against International Law and are make a mockery of the principles that Russia has pledged to uphold as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Including when it threatens with the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Dear President,

As stated last week by Prime Minister Edi Rama at the UNGA, we strongly condemn Russia’s ongoing war and these premeditated mock elections in Ukraine.

They have zero legality, zero legitimacy, zero credibility and Albania will not recognize them. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the excellence in election monitoring, condemned what it qualified as “illegal referenda.”

Also, attempts to compare these referendums with other cases out of every historic and political context and simply worthless cynicism.

We call on all UN Members, everyone for whom the principles of territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders have a meaning, to oppose Russia’s actions, condemns the referendums and their anticipated results, and never recognize any attempts to steal Ukrainian lands through violence and terror.


While the war goes on, while Russia is hastily trying to change Ukraine’s map, the HRC Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has concluded – based on evidence gathered – that war crimes have been committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. Last week, in this Chamber, the ICC Prosecutor General said that the bodies lying on the streets he saw in Bucha were real, not staged.

Crimes committed in Ukraine are being meticulously documented. They will not be prescribed and will follow perpetrators until their last days.

Also, we in the Security Council cannot stay idle. Albania and USA have prepared a draft-resolution to condemn the sham referenda, which has been shared with Security Council members.

Borders cannot change to satisfy Russia’s appetite.

Ukraine is not and cannot be Russia.

We must stay united and continue helping Ukraine defend itself and get its territory back.

Thank you.

Previous Remarks by the DPR Albana Dautllari at the UN Security Council meeting on UNAMA – Afghanistan 

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