(PresidentialHill.com)- Moscow recently declared intentions to legally annex seized land in southern Ukraine, while leaders of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk planned their own referendums.
Reports show Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s seized Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and the two self-proclaimed independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The votes might allow Russia to seize the territories as the Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive in the Kherson region continues.
In a Telegram message Tuesday, Vladimir Saldo, Russia’s acolyte leader in Kherson, said he hoped the area would become a part of Russia, a fully-fledged subject of a unified nation.
Saldo was confident that the Russian leadership would recognize the referendum results.
In March, Russia took control of the Kherson region’s namesake, a port city near Russian-occupied Crimea, becoming the Kremlin’s first major Ukrainian city. According to reports, Putin’s forces control around 95% of the territory. The Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics disclosed last week their intentions to decide whether to join part of Russia after months of hinting at the possibility.
According to reports, Russia controls over 60% of Donetsk. Ukrainian forces retook a village in Luhansk on Tuesday, probably the first in the province to return to Ukrainian authority.
Russian state media TASS reports Moscow stressed that joining Russia is a decision up to the authorities and population of Donetsk and Luhansk. In a study by Russia’s National Institute for Opinion Surveys and Marketing, most inhabitants in the four areas contemplated a referendum supporting admission. Luhansk aimed to invite international observers to the vote.
If the regions agree to join, a formal revision to the Russian Federation’s constitution would be required so that no future leader of Russia, no official, could reverse these decisions.
According to local media, the referendums come as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to give a virtual address early Wednesday morning proclaiming either annexation or military mobilization.
It will be a military mobilization no matter what the regions decide.