'Kherson Is Russia': Military Occupiers Request Moscow for City's Annexation
An annexation would effectively confirm Russia's permanent occupation of the southern city.
The Russia-controlled administration in Ukraine's Kherson said on Wednesday, 11 May, that it plans to request the Ukrainian city's annexation by Moscow, Reuters reported.
The annexation would effectively confirm Russia's permanent occupation of the southern city, which has been captured since February.
"The city of Kherson is Russia; there will be no the KNR [Kherson People’s Republic] on the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendums," said Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military administration responsible for running the occupation in Kherson, as reported by The Guardian.
"It will be a single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the president of the Russian Federation, and there will be a request to make [Kherson] into a full-fledged region of the Russian Federation," he added.
Russian officials have said that troops will never leave the region, and experts say that the calls for annexation are indicative of Russian weakness in the region.
Russia “doesn’t feel stable on occupied areas, they can’t afford even fake referendum as in 2014. No local support at all,” wrote Maria Zolkina, an analyst at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, a think tank based in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
(With inputs from Reuters and The Guardian.)
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