The newly appointed Russian leadership in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine intends to make a formal request to become part of the Russian Federation.
A statement on a new Telegram channel, which appeared to be linked to the pro-Russian administration, said that “the authorities in the Kherson region will ask the Russian president to annex the region to Russia.”
The announcement was quickly covered by Russian state media.
Attributed to appeal. Carol Strymosov – Newly appointed Deputy Chief of Military-Civil Administration in Kherson.
Over the weekend, Strymosov said, “citizens living in the Kherson region will have the right to acquire Russian citizenship.”
“We are not planning a referendum, and we are not planning a republic,” he said.
“We are talking about the fact that we will, as far as possible, integrate into the Russian Federation as much as possible.
“And all citizens who are on the territory of the Kherson area will have the right to obtain Russian citizenship and a Russian passport.”
Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, tweeted his reaction to Kherson’s announcement.
“Attackers may ask to join Mars or Jupiter,” he wrote. “The Ukrainian army will liberate Kharsan, no matter what word he plays.”
What Russia is saying: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that this should be the decision of the Khartoum people when asked if Russia was ready to accept the Kharkiv territory if local authorities made such a request.
“It is up to the citizens of the Khursin region to decide whether or not to make such an appeal, and they will decide their own destiny,” Peskov told reporters at a regular conference call.
Commenting on the legality of such a procedure and whether it should be done through a referendum or an order, Peskov added that it should be done in a “legitimate” way.
“This issue needs to be clearly and carefully verified and reviewed by lawyers and legal experts as there must be a clear legal background to justify such malicious decisions,” he said. That should be justified, as in the case of Crimea. “
Russian forces occupy much of the territory, including the southern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed to this post.