Mirroring their tactics in the Donbas, the Russians are preparing to create a fake “Kherson People’s Republic” in the south of Ukraine, Ukraine’s General Staff has said in a press statement.
Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast in the south has been a special target for the Russian invaders since day one of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, the General Staff said.
“In Nova Kakhovka (in Kherson Oblast) the occupiers are using local publishing assets to create propaganda materials in order to organize a ‘referendum to create Kherson People’s Republic’ (similar to the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic,’” reads the statement.
Meanwhile, in Luhansk Oblast, Russian occupation authorities are scaling up the mandatory conscription of the local population in the Donbas territories that are still outside the control of the government in Kyiv.
On April 4, the General Staff said the Russian invaders on the outskirts of Nova Kakhovka were forcing local residents to help them construct defensives, such as trenches.
Earlier, in the city of Kherson, which was invaded Russian forces advancing from Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula, as well as in other regions of the country, Ukrainian civilians have started large-scale protests against the Russian invasion.
The Russians are suppressing those protests, as people are holding Ukrainian flags in their hands and chanting pro-Ukrainian slogans, the General Staff said. Numerous videos from the occupied areas back up the claim.
On April 3, Russian soldiers used machine guns to disperse a pro-Ukrainian protest in Kakhovka, another city in Kherson Oblast.