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The pro-Russian administration in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhje region wants to organize a referendum on joining Russia in a few weeks. According to the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti, today the administration signed a decree making such a referendum possible.
The southern part of the Zaporizhzhya region, including the city of Melitopol and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plantIn the hands of the Russians for months. Pro-Russian military officials rule this out. They are on their way to annexation by Russia known for a long timeBut this is the first time they have made a concrete commitment to this.
The officials said in a statement that they are “one people” with Russia. It is expected that the Zaporizhzhya administration will organize the referendum on the same day as the municipal elections in Moscow, on September 11, although the authorities have not yet officially confirmed this.
Yesterday, Ukrainian President Zelensky warned about the referendums that Russia is planning to organize. “If the occupiers continue to organize fake referendums, they can forget about talks with Ukraine and the free world,” he said.
Zelensky reiterated in a video address that Ukraine will not cede its territory to Russia. We will not give up anything of our own.”
Today, in response to Zelensky’s statements, a Kremlin spokesman said that the Ukrainian president is not interested in organizing referendums in the regions occupied by Russia. “We have to turn to the residents and ask them why they don’t want to be part of Ukraine anymore.”
This is not the first time the Ukrainian president has warned about Russian referendums. in April He has already called on residents of the regions around Kherson and Zaporizhzhya not to give personal data to Russian soldiers, because the Kremlin is planning to organize a “false independence referendum” there.
In 2014, Russia also organized such a referendum for the unilaterally proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, among others. This could have shown that the predominantly Russian-speaking population wanted to belong to Russia. Referendums were not recognized by anyone except Russia.
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