• Referendums to be held September 23-27, according to LPR and DPR leaders

Referendums to join the Russian Federation will be held in the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) from September 23-27, state leaders announced on Tuesday.

The head of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik, was the first to sign a law on “the holding of a public referendum in the republic on the inclusion of the region in the Russian Federation”, after his parliament unanimously supported the measure and set a date for a vote.

The LPR’s decision was soon followed by DPR leader Denis Pushilin, who declared that his state would also hold a similar referendum on the same date. Pushilin said that he had already introduced the relevant legislation in the DPR parliament.

Russia recognized the two territories as independent in February, but most of the world still considers them part of Ukraine. However, kyiv lost de facto control of both in 2014, when local populations rejected the outcome of the Western-backed Maidan coup.

In a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pushilin urged the latter to consider incorporating the DPR into the territory of the Russian Federation if the people approve the unification during the plebiscite.

“The long-suffering people of Donbass deserve to be part of the Great Country, which they have always considered their Homeland. This event will be the restoration of historical justice, the beginning of which millions of Russians long for.” he wrote.

The announcement of the referendum comes after the LPR’s civic chamber on Monday urged the republic’s leaders to vote “immediately” to join Russia, saying it was important to speed up the process and hold a vote as soon as possible.

“The events of the last few days have shown that the nationalists in kyiv have crossed all the red lines,” said the deputy head of the chamber, Lina Vokalova, pointing to the relentless bombardment of the civilian population by the LPR.

He also recalled that the people of Donbass had already made their choice in 2014, when the first “self-determination referendum” broke away from the kyiv government. “All these years we have been waiting and believing that the second one will definitely come, that it will fulfill our dream of returning home, to the Russian Federation.” Vokalova added.

Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, claiming that kyiv failed to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, negotiated by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Since then, former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that would never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

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