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Kherson Region expects to join Russia by year end, senior official says

The Kherson Region in southern Ukraine borders on Crimea

KHERSON, June 21. /TASS/. The Kherson Region expects to become a Russian constituent member by the end of this year, with a referendum to be held prior to that, a senior local official told TASS on Tuesday.

"During this year, we will hold a referendum, and following the referendum we will ask Russia’s leadership for Russian membership," said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the region’s civil-military administration. The region expects to join Russia later this year, he added.

The Kherson Region may hold a referendum in the fall, and local authorities are making preparations for it, Stremousov said, expressing his confidence that the majority of local residents would support the idea of joining Russia.

"Russia is a nation that will allow [us] to have a future, a promising future of our own, while Ukraine has failed as a country, as a Western project," Stremousov said.

The Kherson Region in southern Ukraine borders on Crimea. In mid-March, the Russian Defense Ministry said the region was entirely under control of Russian troops. The civil-military administration was established there in late April, and local authorities have said the region would like to join Russia.