Ukraine’s Kherson votes to join Russia
Ukraine’s Kherson Region, which is largely controlled by Russian forces, has opted to break away from Kiev in a referendum, official results made public on Tuesday show.
Some 87% of voters have supported the idea of breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia, according to official figures.
The polls were conducted in the region from September 23 to 27.
Russian forces took Kherson Region under control early in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev that broke out in late February. In recent weeks, Ukraine launched an offensive to try and recapture it, but its military efforts have largely failed.
Kiev and its Western supporters have repeatedly condemned the referendums, denouncing them as a “sham” vote. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned that the completion of the referendums would make any further diplomatic negotiations with Moscow “impossible.”
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.