Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the “independence” of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, according to the official portal of legal information of the Russian Federation, Russia’s state-controlled RIA reports.
“In accordance with the generally accepted principles and norms of international law, recognizing and reaffirming the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, taking into account the will of the people of the Kherson Oblast in a referendum held on 27 September 2022, I hereby decide: To recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Kherson Oblast,” the decree says.
This is a step preceding the annexation of these territories into Russia.
Russia had recognized the “independence” of two other territories it plans to annex, its proxy statelets termed the “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics,” on the eve of his full-blown war on Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
Russia held pseudo-referendum shows in occupied Ukrainian territories over 23-27 September with the goal of annexing the territories it is occupying. The pseudo-referendums were held in violation of Ukrainian law, with violation of voting procedures, and are not legitimate votes.
On September 29, members of the lower house of the Russian parliament received an invitation to the Kremlin, where a “ceremony of signing agreements on the accession of new territories to Russia” will take place.
Russia’s Federation Council may consider the issue of the occupied territories of Ukraine joining Russia on October 4 if the results of the pseudo-referendums.
On September 27, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that if Russia tries to annex the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine on the basis of the so-called “referendums,” it means the closure of any negotiations with Moscow.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Russia’s actions to annex parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts of Ukraine after holding pseudo-referendums there were a violation of the UN Charter and international law.