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Kherson occupation authorities pause referendum
Kirill Stremousov, who is described as the "deputy head of the military-civil administration" of the occupied Kherson region, which is occupied by Russian troops, believes that the Kherson region is ready to hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation. However, as he told TV station Rossiya-1, they are taking a pause because of the security situation.
"We have prepared for the vote, we wanted to hold a referendum in the near future, but because of all the events that have happened now, I think that for now we will take a pause. It will be understandably practical, because we are not getting ahead of ourselves, and our main task is to feed the population, to keep it safe," TASS quoted him as saying.
Stremousov also said that the referendum will not be prevented by threats from Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. Earlier, she announced that residents of the occupied territories could face up to 12 years in prison with confiscation of property for participating in referendums.
"I would like to say something to Iryna Vereshchuk, taking this opportunity. Iryna Vereshchuk, you have nothing to do with the Kherson region. This is liberated territory, and everything you do there, threats - it's all just meaningless shouting," replied Stremousov.
At the end of August, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive near Kherson. Around the same time, two Russian-appointed officials left the southern regions of Ukraine. In particular, Stremousov spoke of "peaceful skies" over Kherson from Voronezh on August 30. He explained this by saying that he "travels around Russian cities, meeting with different people for work."
According to Meduza's sources, the Kremlin is currently considering several options for holding referendums on the seized territories of Ukraine. According to one of them, the authorities want to first hold referendums in September or October in the occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, and in late autumn - in the LNR and DNR. The second option involves holding simultaneous referendums later in the fall, when, as the Kremlin expects, the Russian army will be able to take over the entire Donetsk region.
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