The Russian occupation regime in Kherson Oblast is preparing to stage a sham referendum in the region on April 27 in order to declare the region the so-called Kherson People’s Republic, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said on April 21.
According to the message, the “referendum” is scheduled for a workday, demonstrating the complete lack of Russian interest in an accurate result. Instead, Moscow aims to execute “a scenario with a pre-approved result,” Ukraine’s military said.
Operational Command South said that settlements in the region are under constant artillery fire. A Russian offensive near Oleksandrivka was unsuccessful, and Ukrainian soldiers managed to identify and destroy two concealed Russian observation posts.
In Mykolaiv oblast, close to Kherson, the invaders are coercing locals into “approving” a new local collaborationist government, threatening them with violence. Russian artillery strikes on Mykolaiv and surrounding towns are ongoing.
“The (Ukrainian) defense force in the south is ready to respond to enemy activity on all fronts,” said the message.
Earlier, NV obtained a copy of an official letter from Kherson regional governor Hennadiy Lahuta to Kherson’s mayor Ihor Kolykhaev, outlining how the municipal government is to operate under Russian occupation.