SIMFEROPOL, June 9. /TASS/. People in the liberated areas of the Zaporozhye Region want a referendum to join Russia as soon as possible, a local mayor said on Thursday.
"Residents of the liberated areas want to make up their mind as soon as possible, to voice their opinion, since they do not want to stay under Kiev’s rule and would like to be a unified-family with Russia instead,’ Melitopol Mayor Galina Danilchenko said during an on-air broadcast of the Rossiya-24 television channel.
Local officials will be getting ready for a referendum, she pledged, saying some technical issues still need to be solved, including wireless connection problems. The Melitopol mayor said the authorities in Ukraine had been involuntarily pushing locals towards a referendum by shelling border areas in order to destroy food reserves.
A member of the Zaporozhye Region administration’s chief council, Vladimir Rogov, said earlier that his region expected to join Russia as part of the Southern Federal District, with the initiative to form a separate federal district to be discussed later. Vladimir Balitsky, the regional governor, said on Wednesday preparations were likely in the next few months so that a referendum would be held as early as the fall.