Russia Ukraine War | Russia-Ukraine War: Russia to hold Referendum in 4 Ukrainian regions, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia dgtl

Russia announced referendums in the four occupied regions of Ukraine amid the war situation. Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions (collectively called Donbas) are on the list, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhia.

Those four regions account for 15 percent of Ukraine’s total area. The referendum process has started in those four regions since Friday. Vladimir Putin’s army took control of those four areas at the beginning of the war in February. However, Ukrainian forces have recently recaptured several parts of those provinces.

The war has turned the tide in the past month with the retreat of forces loyal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russian forces, which attacked a wide area from Kherson in the south to Kharkiv in the northwest, are now busy retreating to defend themselves. A group of Russian youth has started to leave the country in fear after the massive recruitment process for the army at the call of Putin. Fearing that they might be forced into war, they are reluctant to leave the country. In this situation, Moscow’s announcement of the referendum is seen as a desperate attempt to break up Ukraine and retain a part of it.

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Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine last February 24. Before that, he announced the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, which are near the Russian border, as ‘independent states’. The majority of the population of those two regions is Russian. Pro-Moscow separatist militia groups have also been active there for years. But the Russian army could not establish absolute supremacy there even in seven months of war.

Moscow is believed to have ‘other plans’ behind the referendum announcement in Zaporizhia. Part of the western media thinks that keeping the nuclear plant there is Putin’s ‘table’ by declaring Zaporizhia ‘self-governing’ through a referendum. Incidentally, in 2014, Putin declared the region ‘autonomous’ after seizing the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is close to Putin, has threatened a nuclear attack against Ukraine. Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s National Security Council, said in an interview with a West Asian media outlet, “In the Ukraine war, the way to strategically use nuclear weapons is being opened to ensure the security of the territories under our control.”

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The article is in Bengali

Tags: Russia Ukraine War RussiaUkraine War Russia hold Referendum Ukrainian regions Donetsk Luhansk Kherson Zaporizhzhia dgtl

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