Russian invaders want to reformat sham referendum into poll, says Melitopol mayor

28 August, 02:00 PM
Occupation authorities unable to organize sham referendum due to lack of collaborators, partisan attacks (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Occupation authorities unable to organize sham referendum due to lack of collaborators, partisan attacks (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Invading Russian forces want to reformat a sham referendum into a poll, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov told Ukrainian national television on Aug. 27.

“They’re indeed preparing now, but today their plans are changing again,” he said.

“While earlier they wanted to hold this pseudo-referendum in late August, today they don’t see how to hold it even on Sept. 11.”

“Today they’re not talking about the only referendum day for several reasons. The extremely low turnout and activity of our residents regarding participation in this sham referendum is the first and main reason. That’s why today they reformatted and want to do it as part of a sociological survey on Sept. 11-17 and then sum up the results.”

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Fedorov added the Russians had also formed demands for the so-called “agitation groups.” In particular, a resident of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea who lived there until 2014 and is fluent in Ukrainian, should be among them.

“In this way, they’re trying to say that no one is trying to suppress the Ukrainian population, but we clearly understand that this is another batch of propaganda,” the mayor said.

U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Aug. 26 that the Russian occupation authorities are unlikely to be able to carry out referendums as they intend (with cooperation from local collaborators) by the purported Sept. 11 deadline, due to continued frictions within occupation administrations and ongoing partisan attacks.

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