Separatist officials backed by Russian President in the Kherson region of Ukraine said on Thursday, 20 September, that they will hold a referendum on joining Russia, Reuters reported.
They have urged Kremlin to give permission for the same as soon as possible.
Volodymyr Saldo, the head of Kherson, said he hoped that it would become "a part of Russia, a fully fledged subject of a united country." Saying that it will be a "triumph of historical justice," Saldo added, "I am sure that the Russian leadership will accept the results of the referendum."
Additionally, in a post on social media addressed to the Russian president, Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), wrote, "I ask you, as soon as possible, in the event of a positive decision in the referendum – which we have no doubt about – to consider the DPR becoming a part of Russia."
He also said that the DPR will hold the referendum 23-27 September.
Putin's goverment recognised the independence of the two breakaway regions of Ukraine in the east, Donetsk and Luhansk, on 21 February earlier this year.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that "sham ‘referendums’ will not change anything. Neither will any hybrid ‘mobilization’. Russia has been and remains an aggressor illegally occupying parts of Ukrainian land. Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say."
(With inputs from Reuters.)