The Kherson region in southern Ukraine, which Russia has occupied since March, is gearing up for a possible referendum on joining Russia. The city is plastered with propaganda billboards reading ‘We are with Russia’ and locals speak of the tense and unpredictable situation. They don’t want to vote in any possible referendum at all.
“Everyone knows that Russia is falsifying the results of the referendum. Then Russia will feel stronger and arrest everyone who voted against it,” said the Telegram social network. An unnamed source in Kherson, who runs the anti-Russian channel on The Guardian, gave a telephone interview to the British newspaper The Guardian.
Even Ukrainians who call themselves apolitical say they are against the referendum. “Of course I don’t go to him. He doesn’t know anyone,” explained Svitlana, a former hairdresser.
Even Constantine, who worked in the field of information technology before Russia occupied Kherson, said he had big doubts about the vote: before the war, it would be a referendum on stabbing weapons. “
Two anonymous sources close to the Kremlin said in an interview with the independent Russian server Meduza that the next referendum should open a limited number of polling stations for pro-Russian residents. rice field. He justifies it by claiming it as a “special circumstance”. The Russian president’s office is also said to be certain that the opposition will not participate in the referendum.
“We are with Russia”
Russian forces took control of Kherson after a heavy artillery bombardment on 2 March. At this time, Kherson became one of the first major cities seized by occupying forces. Shortly thereafter, she also conquered the entire Kherson region. Now that her two main bridges over the Dnieper have been destroyed by Ukrainian forces, the port city is effectively cut off from the rest of the occupied territories in the west. A planned counterattack is now being prepared, the objective of which is to recapture Kherson.
At the end of July, a discussion forum on “The question of self-determination and the future fate of the occupied territories” was held in the hall of the Kherson State University, entitled “We are with Russia”. According to information from the Russian server Meduza, under this slogan, a campaign for a referendum on joining Russia is being held in the occupied Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Also included is a sign with the Russian flag and a quote from Vladimir Putin.
Volodymyr Sard, the Russian-appointed administrative chief of the Kherson region, argued at a forum in July that the referendum was an initiative of the local population. If you want something, and we all want to be with Russia, the whole universe and above all Russia will help us.Everything we do with love, we will succeed In early August, suspected poisoning.
Citing three unnamed sources close to the Kremlin, Medusa Server previously planned that Russia would unite the occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Luhansk into one federal district. reported that he was After the referendum was held.
According to the original plan, the vote was already scheduled to take place in the spring or early July. There is now talk of announcing a referendum in September, but only in areas conquered by Russia. The Kremlin, for example, was counting on the fact that the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine would by then be completely under Russian control. Thanks to a successful defense, Kyiv still controls less than 40% of her in the area.
Moscow is also working on a back-up plan for referendums to be held only in winter due to slow military progress on the southern and eastern fronts. According to Medusa sources, this scenario is becoming more and more likely. However, it is uncomfortable for the Kremlin because it would undermine the trust of those who support the war.
President Vladimir Putin is set to make a final decision on when referendums will be held in the occupied territories of Ukraine in the near future.
March Video: How the Russians Entered Kherson
Russia seized the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine. The streets there were occupied by Russian tanks Video: Reuters, Twitter / Inna Shevchenko, Twitter / Nexta
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