Lugansk and Donetsk will vote to join Russia

Donetsk, Ukraine.- Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk provinces will vote on September 23-27 in a referendum on whether to join Russia, the two leaders of the breakaway regions announced.

Leonid Pasechnik, leader of the proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, first announced on Tuesday that he had signed a law on the consultation to join Russia as a federal state.

Later, Denis Pushilin, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, stated that he had done the same for a referendum under the same conditions.

Both regions announced in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, that they would secede from Ukraine and have been at war with the kyiv Army ever since.

Before beginning his invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized both republics as independent territories and said he would support them in the face of kyiv’s refusal to honor the agreements that had been negotiated.

On February 24, the president began what he called a “special operation” to presumably protect Russian speakers in these regions, located in the Ukrainian Donbas.

The ads came out after a Putin ally said they were necessary.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev also declared that merging Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine with Russia itself would make its new borders “irreversible” and allow Moscow to use “any means” to defend them.

Such votes are almost certainly favorable to Moscow, but would not be recognized by Western governments.

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