MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Ukraine will spare no effort to escalate the situation in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, both militarily and informationally, to scuttle referendums on their accession to Russia, Andrey Bystritsky, chairman of the Board of the Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, told TASS on Tuesday.
"The Ukrainian side will spare no effort to frustrate referendums (in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions - TASS) in any format. Combat operations are not ruled out: blowing up bridges and shooting at civilians," he said.
According to Bystritsky, escalation will have an ideological and information character. The obligatory evacuation of Donbass residents announced by the Ukrainian side is also geared to break down referendums.
"Fighting goes on at all levels: both on the battlefield and ideologically," he added.
Zaporozhye region head Yevgeny Balitsky said on Monday he had decreed to organize a referendum on the region’s accession to Russia. The Kherson region authorities also announced plans to organize a referendum on accessing Russia but its date has not yet been agreed.