KIEV, September 21. /TASS/. Those taking part in referendums on joining Russia, to be held in areas outside the Kiev government’s control soon, are facing prison terms of up to five years, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said.
"Some lawyers believe that those actions fall under Article 110 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, ‘Infringement on Ukraine’s territorial integrity,’ punishable with a prison term of up to five years," she told the Strana portal on Tuesday.
She called upon residents of uncontrolled territories not to take part and "leave, if possible."
In her opinion, organizers of the vote face between five and ten years in jail and confiscation of property.
As the press service of Ukraine’s Ministry for the Reintegration of Uncontrolled Territories has said, a bill has been developed in Kiev for introducing criminal punishment of up to 15 years in prison for obtaining Russian citizenship. Getting a Russian passport, according to the bill, is justified only if the person who has received it is going to return to Ukraine through Russia and third countries. Earlier, Aleksey Arestovich, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, said that those Ukrainians who had received Russian citizenship would be charged with treason.
Speaker of the LPR People’s Council (legislature) Denis Miroshnichenko said on Tuesday that the referendum on unifying with Russia will be held in the republic on September 23-27. Later, DPR head Denis Pushilin also announced that such a referendum will be held in the DPR in the same period. The referendums on joining Russia in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions will also be organized on September 23-27.