The Russian-occupied region of Kherson in southern Ukraine plans to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to incorporate it into the Russian Federation, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
According to “head of the military civil administration” in the occupied territory, Kirill Stremousov, the pro-Kremlin officials wish for Kherson to join the Russian Federation through an act of decree from Moscow, not by a referendum.
"No KhPR [Kherson People’s Republic] will be created on the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendums. This will be one single decree on the basis of the appeal of the leadership from the Kherson region to the President of the Russian Federation, and there will be a request to introduce the region into a full-fledged region of the Russian Federation," Stremousov stated.
On April 23rd, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow would be at risk if the Kremlin used “pseudo-referendums" to justify an annexation of the occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Zelensky said such a move would mean that "everything that happened before, all those meetings of diplomatic groups - it's all fiction and political theater".
The Kherson occupation authorities plan to create a pension and a banking system in Kherson.
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said "the decision to appeal to Russia with a request to accept the Kherson region into the Russian Federation should be made by the residents of this region."
"This is a question that should be clearly and carefully verified and assessed by lawyers and lawyers,” Peskov added. “Because, of course, such fateful decisions should have an absolutely clear legal background, justification, be absolutely legitimate as it was in the case of the Crimea."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that his plans "do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories."