LPR, DPR call for referendum on joining Russia
The administrations of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics are calling for their leaders to hold a referendum on their accession to Russia.
The Public Chamber of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) called for the republic's head, Leonid Pesechnik, to hold a referendum on the republic's immediate accession to Russia, Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday, citing a statement from the body.
"The Public Chamber of the Lugansk People’s Republic comes out with an initiative to hold a referendum on the accession of the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia immediately," the statement read.
The republic’s accession to Russia will ensure its security and open up new possibilities for the post-war revival, the LPR Public Chamber said.
"We think it is high time to pass a strong-willed decision to hold a referendum in the Lugansk People's Republic immediately," the statement added, noting that the people of the LPR would widely support the accession to Russia and consider it a "triumph of historic justice."
"Moreover, it will ensure the security of the republic’s territory, open up new possibilities on a path of the revival and restoration of the strength of our land, its return to a peaceful life."
Likewise, the Civic Chamber of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) appealed to DPR head Denis Pushilin with a request to immediately hold a referendum on the republic's accession to Russia, chamber chairman Alexander Kofman said on Monday.
"It's time to erase the non-existent border between our states and hold a referendum on the issue of joining the Donetsk People's Republic to the Russian Federation. We want the border of the Russian Federation to lie between us and Ukraine," Kofman said in the appeal.
"In connection with all of the above, I ask the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, and the People's Council of the DPR to make an appropriate decision on the immediate holding of a referendum," the official added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's formal recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR. This led to Ukraine escalating against the republics and using various tactics to try and undermine their leadership and hurt their civilians. That same month, Ukraine shelled a hospital in Donetsk and caused the death of eight civilians in another strike on the region.
Earlier in August, Central Donetsk was undergoing some mine clearance works that have been threatening civilians, and since Ukraine has been equipped with NATO’s Tochka-U tactical missile systems and long-range rocket systems, the number of civilian casualties in the DPR has increased by more than two-fold.
Similarly to the two republics, a referendum regarding the status of Zaparozhye and Berdiansk, both of which have been liberated by the Russian armed forces over the Ukraine war, is set to be held in September.
The authorities of Zaporozhye had previously affirmed they were going ahead with their plans of holding a referendum on joining Russia.
Kherson and Zaparozhye had new administrations formed in them, with Russian TV channels and radio stations broadcasting there and trade and transport ties with Crimea being restored. Both regions have announced plans to become part of Russia.
Kherson and most of Zaporozhye became under the control of the Russian forces after the Donetsk Peoples Republic and Lugansk People's Republic respective governments requested help from Russia as they were under intensive offensives by Ukrainian troops.