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Kremlin still pretends it is not involved in sham "referendums" in Donbas

Friday, 9 September 2022, 13:28
Kremlin still pretends it is not involved in sham referendums in Donbas

STANISLAV POHORILOV — FRIDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER, 2022, 13:28

Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, pretended that Russia had nothing to do with the pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories of Donbas, saying that the issue of holding these on the "unified voting day" is up to the citizens who live in these territories.

Source: Russian state-owned news outlet RIA Novosti

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Quote from Peskov: "I don't know, here I say again that this issue [the holding of sham referendums – ed.] is mainly related to the expression of the will of those people who live in this territory".

Previously: 

  • Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on 24 February, Russia has occupied more territories of Ukraine in Donbas, as well as part of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. In order to mark the captured lands as Russian, the occupiers have already several times planned to hold pseudo-referendums there, where they expected the locals to agree to join the Russian Federation. However, every time, the plans were thwarted due to the resistance of local residents and the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • On 5 September, Kyrylo Stremousov, the Russian-appointed governor of Kherson Oblast, told the Russian media that the occupiers put on hold the so-called referendum on integrating Kherson Oblast into Russia, due to "all the events that were happening" [i.e. the Ukrainian counteroffensive]. 
  • On 7 September, Andrey Turchak, the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party, suggested holding the so-called "referendums on joining the Russian Federation" in the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia in early November.

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