Kremlin lays groundwork for referenda to annex parts of Ukraine

Russia appears to be laying the groundwork for annexing occupied parts of Ukraine by holding referenda.

Kremlin official Sergei Kiriyenko cited recent surveys on Sunday showing that support in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas, for joining Russia is between 91 per cent and 92 per cent, reports dpa news agency.

In the recently conquered regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya, Kiriyenko said the level of support was between 75 per cent and 77 per cent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has routinely said that if the people showed support for joining his country, then the Kremlin would respond.

However, Russia is not in full control of all the regions that it hints are ready to be annexed.

Ukraine controls large parts of Donetsk and has hinted at a counter-offensive in Kherson.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian army’s Operational Command South said they have attacked three Russian command posts and at least two ammunition depots in Kherson.

The Command said that their forces killed 11 Russian soldiers and destroyed 11 rocket launchers, three armoured vehicles and a self-propelled howitzer.

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