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In the occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine, they called for referendums on “joining” with Russia. With such a proposal on September 20, the “public council” addressed the head of the occupation administration of the Kherson region, Volodymyr Saldo, and the public movement “We are together with Russia” addressed the head of the occupation administration of the Zaporozhye region, Yevgeny Balitsky. AT appeals organizations it is said that “joining” will secure the occupied territories of the two regions.
The occupation administration of the Kherson region announced that it would hold a referendum on “joining the Russian Federation.” About it declared head of the occupation administration Vladimir Saldo. He hopes that the Kremlin will accept the results of the referendum. As a result of the referendum, Saldo says, he will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin “as soon as possible” to approve the results of the vote. Deputy Head of the Occupation Administration Kirill Stremousov claimsthat about 80% of the inhabitants of the Kherson region are ready to come to the referendum. The date of the referendum was not announced by the Russian-controlled authorities of the Kherson region. At the same time, the head of the movement “We are together with Russia” Vladimir Rogov declaredthat voting in the Zaporozhye region may take place in the coming days.
Referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine will be held from 23 to 27 September, two Meduza sources close to the Russian presidential administration said. On the same dates, voting was officially scheduled in the self-proclaimed DPR and the LPR, where they also announced the holding of referendums. The representatives of the parliaments of the DPR and LPR reported that the voting will take place these days.
On September 20, the deputies of the LPR adopted the law “On the referendum of the Lugansk People’s Republic on the issue of joining the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation.” Head of the self-proclaimed republic Leonid Pasechnik signed law. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic adopted a similar document.
On the situation in the Lugansk region
- The Ukrainian military liberated the first settlement in the Lugansk region – the village of Belogorovka It is of strategic importance for the new counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The Russian authorities supported the holding of referendums. Secretary of the General Council of United Russia Andrey Turchak declaredthat “a referendum is needed, and needed for a long time.” “An honest and open vote will secure de jure its results once and for all. De facto Donbass and liberated territories — already Russia,” said Turchak. State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said at a meeting on September 20 that if the DPR and LPR vote for “joining” Russia, then the deputies “should support it.”
On the same day, the State Duma of Russia introduced the concepts of “mobilization” and “martial law” into the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. For the adoption of the law in the third reading, the deputies voted unanimously – all 389 people. Articles “Voluntary surrender” (Article 352.1, up to 10 years in prison) and “Looting” (Article 356.1, up to 15 years) were added to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The list of aggravating circumstances added the commission of a crime “during the period of mobilization or martial law, in wartime.” One of the authors of the amendments, Senator Olga Kovitidi statedthat amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation do not mean mobilization in Russia: “As far as this law is concerned, mobilization has not been announced in the country.”
The law also toughened the punishment for unauthorized abandonment of a unit during the period of mobilization and martial law (Article 337 of the Criminal Code) – up to 10 years in a colony. In addition, the Criminal Code introduced punishment (Part 2.1 of Article 332 of the Criminal Code) for failure to comply with the order of the chief during martial law, in wartime or in armed conflict, as well as for refusing to participate in hostilities. This is punishable by two to three years in prison.