Russia will manipulate the results of the Kherson elections to support leaving Ukraine, the UK says

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Moscow is pursuing its annexation plan Ukrainian Kherson region by conducting a “rigged” election intended to manipulate local support for membership in the Russia Federation, second United Kingdom officials.

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If Russia holds a referendum election in Kherson, which borders Russia-annexed Crimea, “it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favor of leaving Ukraine,” the UK Defense Ministry said on Saturday. an intelligence update.

Russian forces took the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine in early March, but have so far not committed the atrocities against civilians as in other areas of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press. Locals suspected they were spared because Russia has a special plan to hold a bogus referendum to transform the territory into the “Kherson People’s Republic” like the pro-Russian separatist territories in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainians rally against the Russian invasion and shout

Ukrainians rally against Russian invasion and shout “Kherson is Ukraine”
(Reuters Marketplace – News Blasting Videos)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed residents of occupied Kherson in April about Russia’s plan for an orchestrated referendum. He warned them to safeguard their personal data from attempts to falsify votes. “This is a reality. Be careful,” he said.

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The military-civilian administration imposed by Russia in Kherson has announced that it will ask Russia to include Kherson in the Russian Federation, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

“A core part of Russia’s original invasion plan is very likely to use rigged referendums to place most regions of Ukraine under long-term pro-Russian authority,” the British intelligence update said.

In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives for his meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday April 30, 2022.

In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives for his meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday April 30, 2022.
(Ukrainian presidential press office via AP)

“The fact that Russia has only succeeded in imposing a local pro-Russian leadership in Kherson highlights the failure of the Russian invasion to make progress towards its political goals in Ukraine.”

Russian troops occupied the Kherson Town Hall, bringing down the Ukrainian flag. Last month, the Russians replaced the mayor with their own appointee.

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However, according to the British Ministry of Defense, the citizens of Kherson are likely to continue to demonstrate their opposition to the Russian occupation.

Live streaming footage shows people carrying a banner in the colors of the Ukrainian flag as they protest during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kherson, Ukraine on March 13, 2022 in this still image from a social media video obtained by REUTERS .

Live streaming footage shows people carrying a banner in the colors of the Ukrainian flag as they protest during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kherson, Ukraine on March 13, 2022 in this still image from a social media video obtained by REUTERS .

The bogus electoral tactic was used earlier. In 2014, it was widely believed that a controversial referendum in Crimea during the Russian annexation was falsified, with results showing that nearly 97% of voters supported joining Russia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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