Ukraine conflict: Russia postpones 'referendum' in occupied area – BBC

By | September 23, 2022

The Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine's southern metropolis of Kherson have postponed a so-called referendum on becoming a member of Russia, on safety grounds.
"That is being paused due to the safety scenario," mentioned Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed administration there.
He mentioned heavy Ukrainian shelling had made a key Kherson bridge impassable.
Ukraine and its Western allies have denounced the referendum plans in Kherson and different areas as unlawful.
In the meantime, Ukraine says its forces have recaptured Vysokopillya, a small city some 167km (104 miles) north of central Kherson.
That acquire – not verified independently – is a part of a counter-offensive within the south launched by the Ukrainian military final week.
A photograph reveals troopers apparently elevating the Ukrainian flag over the city, which had almost 4,000 residents earlier than the conflict. It was posted on Fb by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's workplace.
His photograph caption says: "Vysokopillya, Kherson Area. Ukraine. At present."
President Zelensky mentioned Ukrainian forces had recaptured two "inhabitants centres" within the south, however didn’t identify them.
Russia has been planning referendums in Kherson and the southern Zaporizhzhia area, most of which it controls.
Talking on Russian state TV, Mr Stremousov mentioned Ukrainian shelling had broken Kherson's Antonovskiy Bridge to such an extent that autos might now not cross it.
He mentioned barges transporting civilians throughout the Dnieper (Dnipro) river have been additionally coming beneath Ukrainian hearth, as was the town's infrastructure.
The Russians have relied on the bridge to convey troops and {hardware} out and in of Kherson.
Ukraine has deployed US-made Himars a number of rocket launchers in its drive to push the Russians out of the town – the primary to fall to them after their 24 February invasion.
In addition to Kherson, Russia has introduced plans for referendums in different captured territory, much like that held in Crimea after its troops seized the peninsula in 2014.
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged civilians to depart Kherson as preventing intensifies within the space. She has additionally warned that any who take part within the deliberate Russian referendum are liable to face Ukrainian prosecution.
Russia's invasion has destabilised life in Ukraine to such an extent that it isn’t clear who might vote in such referendums anyway. The Crimea vote in 2014, held beneath navy occupation, was not recognised internationally.
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