Lugansk and Kherson separatist leaders call for annexation to Russia

Pro-Russian officials in Ukraine’s Lugansk and Kherson regions announced on Wednesday that they had asked President Vladimir Putin for annexation to Russia, following a referendum on the topic that was heavily criticized by the international community.

“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich … we ask that you examine the question of the accession of the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia as a matter of the Russian Federation,” declared Lugansk (east) separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik in a text published in the telegram.

“We are aware of the historical, cultural and spiritual bond with the multinational people of Russia,” said Pasechnik, who announced a trip to Moscow, alongside his colleague from the Ukrainian region of Donetsk (also in the east), Denis Pushilin, to formalize the request for annexation to Russia.

A similar letter was sent by Vladimir Saldo, who heads the occupation administration of Kherson (south).

In his text, Saldo defends an “absolutely legal” electoral process and cites the people’s right to self-determination, mentioned in the United Nations Charter, in the face of numerous condemnations from Ukraine and the international community.

The requests were announced a day after the end of annexation “referendums” organized by Russia in four Ukrainian regions occupied by its troops (the fourth is Zaporizhzhia), considered “farces” by Western powers.

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