Putin says a referendum on annexing occupied Ukraine will ensure security

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on the 21st that he would make every effort to ensure safe conditions for a referendum on the annexation of Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine.

In a speech to the public on the same day, Putin said, “I will do my best to provide a safe referendum environment so that the residents (occupants) can express their will.” Earlier, pro-Russian forces in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine announced that they would hold a referendum to annex the region to the Russian Federation. Voting in these regions will take place from the 23rd to the 27th.

“We support the decisions about the future made by the majority of the people of Donetsk, Luhansk People’s Republic, Zaporiza and Kherson Oblast,” Putin said. “I have no moral right to do it,” he said. “I can’t help but repay their sincere desire to make their own decisions about their lives,” he said.

“We do not want the historical land of Novorosiya to be under the yoke of the Kyiv regime,” he emphasized. Novorosiya refers to regions that were under the influence of the Russian Empire in the 18th century, and President Putin emphasizes the return to a powerful Russia through this.

President Putin also said that the main goals of the “special military operation” – the liberation of the Donbas region from Ukraine and the protection of Russian citizens – remained unchanged.

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