A participant in a protest against the Russian occupation. Kherson, spring 2022 (file photo) «Meduza»: referendums on joining the Russian Federation were postponed indefinitely
According to «Meduza»'s sources, the reason for the rejection of the referendums was the offensive of the Ukrainian troops
The Russian authorities have postponed indefinitely the holding of the so-called referenda on the accession to Russia of the territories of Ukraine controlled by the Russian military. It is reported by "Medusa" with reference to sources close to the Kremlin.
No official dates for the referendums have been set, although preparations have been made for them. A few days ago, the head of the executive committee of “United Russia” Andrei Turchak proposed to hold a vote on November 4 – on this day Russia celebrates the Day of National Unity. However, a few days ago, the Ukrainian military launched a successful offensive in the Kharkiv region. According to Meduza's sources, this offensive was the sole reason for the rejection of the referenda.
Voting was supposed to take place in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions (Russia considers these territories to be independent states – the “LPR” and “DPR”), as well as in the Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkiv regions. Only the territory of the Luhansk region now remains completely under the control of Russia, in other areas we are talking about part of the territory (Russian troops were almost completely withdrawn from the Kharkov region as a result of the Ukrainian offensive).
Sources of “Medusa” They stressed that Kremlin-connected political technologists who worked in Kharkiv and Zaporozhye regions were hastily recalled to Russia: “An order was received to go home.” Russian political strategists still remain in the Kherson region. At the same time, a representative of the local occupation administration, Kirill Stremousov, said a few days ago that the referendum would be held later than planned due to the Ukrainian offensive – it is also going on in this area, although at the moment it is not as successful as in Kharkov.
According to Meduza, at the very beginning of the war, the Kremlin was confident that they would be able to annex new territories as early as April, but the course of hostilities forced the proposed vote to be postponed first to September and then to November. It is alleged that the November 4 date was supposed to be officially announced next week, but now “these plans have been put on hold.” In the Kremlin, the topic of referendums and the publication of “Medusa” have not commented yet.
Ukraine and Western countries have previously stated that in any case they will not recognize the results of the referendums and the possible annexation of territories. Separation of territories from Ukraine was also not mentioned among the goals of the so-called special military operation, however, the Kremlin has repeatedly said that the fate of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia should be “decided by the inhabitants”.