Russia will likely stage sham referendum in Kherson Oblast, says UK intelligence

3 July, 03:08 PM
A Russian soldier at the entrance to Kherson in early March 2022 (illustrative photo) (Photo:RIA / Telegram)

A Russian soldier at the entrance to Kherson in early March 2022 (illustrative photo) (Photo:RIA / Telegram)

Russia’s priority is now on legitimizing its seizure of parts of Kherson Oblast by way of holding a sham “referendum,” UK Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Twitter on July 3.

Hand-picked Russian collaborators in the oblast earlier pledged to hold a vote on “joining” Russia this fall, the message said. The recent abduction of Kherson Mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev is probably an attempt to stem growing resistance to the Russian occupation “authorities,” the ministry said.

“Russia is likely prioritizing a pseudo-constitutional vote in an attempt to legitimize its control of the region,” the UK ministry said.

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“… However, widespread armed and peaceful resistance continues across occupied areas.”

Quoting senior U.S. officials, CNN earlier reported that Russia doesn’t have enough troops to establish firm control over the captured areas of Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian resistance in the region is gaining momentum.

Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Potyomkine and Ivanivka in Kherson Oblast were liberated in recent days by Ukrainian forces. According to Operational Command South, Russian troops are being gradually pushed back there.

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