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What did the Kremlin say about the referendum information in Crimea?

Can Kherson merge into Russia?  - Photo 1.

Ukrainians demonstrate in Kherson, Ukraine, March 13, 2022. Photo: Reuters

According to the Kremlin, people living in Kherson will decide if they want to join Russia.

Meanwhile, Hennadiy Lahuta, the Ukrainian governor ousted in the Kherson region, told reporters that the people wanted “quickly liberated and back to their homeland – Ukraine”.

In April 2022, Russia said it had gained full control of the area. Kherson provides part of a land link between the Crimean peninsula and the Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that negotiations with Moscow would be at risk if Russia used “fake referendums” to proceed with the annexation of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia territories.

In a late-night video address on May 11, Mr Zelensky criticized these actions, adding: “Whatever Russia does, it doesn’t matter – they don’t stand a chance. I am confident that we will free our land and our people.”

On May 11, when asked about Kherson’s possible annexation of Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that people must decide their own fate, and such decisions should have a clear legal basis. clear.

However, Kirill Stremousov, a leader in the (Russia-backed) military-civilian junta, was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying to reporters: “There will be no referendum because it is absolutely complete. At the moment, Kherson province operates on the instructions of the military-civilian government and a decision will be made at the end of the year.”

The administration did not immediately respond to calls from Reuters asking for comment.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side confirmed that there were many protests in Kherson. Mr. Lahuta said: “A few weeks ago, people in Kherson, in Nova Kakhovka continuously protested. But after that, the demonstrations became less and less frequent as Russia began to apply tough, crude containment measures. more violent”.

Russia also introduced the ruble currency in the Kherson region, to replace the Ukrainian hryvnia.

According to TASS, pension agencies and a new banking system in Kherson are being planned, some branches of Russian banks could be opened in Kherson before the end of May.

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