The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the east of the country, have been under the control of pro-Russian separatists since 2014. That of Zaporizhia has been occupied by the Russian army since the start of its invasion on February 24, as well as that of Kherson , in the South, since early March.
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The pro-Russian territories of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, as well as the two regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia, located in the south, will organize referendums to integrate Russia, from Friday September 23 to Tuesday September 27 , separatist authorities and official news agencies reported on Tuesday (September 20). The integration into Russia of the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhya represented a major escalation in the conflict.
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One of the main pro-Russian representatives of Donbass, Denis Pushilin, President of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said in Telegram messaging that the self-proclaimed pro-Russian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk “worked slowly” since Monday evening to the organization of a referendum to join Russia. He also specified that he had no “no doubt” on the outcome of the ballot.
After the announcement of the referendums, kyiv reacted by promising to “settle the Russian question”. “The threat can only be liquidated by force”a writing on Telegram the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, denouncing a “to sing” from Moscow, motivated by “fear of defeat”.