Kherson requests to become part of Russia following integration
It's unclear if the Kremlin will agree to absorb the Ukrainian land it has acquired or will use threats to exert pressure on Kiev.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy chairman of the regional military-civilian administration, told Sputnik that the Kherson Region intends to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to make the region part of Russia after all integration processes are completed.
Stremousov told reporters on Wednesday that the Kherson Region's officials will petition Russia's president to include the territory in the Russian Federation.
"The deadlines for preparing the appeal have not yet been indicated. But this is not a matter of the next few days, but of the foreseeable future. As soon as we complete all the integration processes and are fully prepared for the territory to become a full-fledged region of the Russian Federation, we will immediately appeal to the president of Russia," he said.
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Nevertheless, Russia making Kherson part of the mainland might make the prospects of a peace agreement "less possible", as Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has stated that Russia's withdrawal from pre-war positions is a prerequisite for any successful negotiations.
It is not clear whether the Kremlin will go forward with the decision or is using it as a threat to pressure Kiev.
Kirill Stremousov, the Ukrainian deputy leader of the military administration Russia installed to oversee Kherson in late April, announced the inclusion on Wednesday.
“The city of Kherson is Russia; there will be no the KNR [Kherson People’s Republic] on the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendums,” said Stremousov in a televised briefing.
“It will be a single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the president of the Russian Federation, and there will be a request to make [Kherson] into a full-fledged region of the Russian Federation.”