Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets of Russian-occupied Kherson to protest against alleged Russian plans to turn the southern Ukrainian oblast into a breakaway republic.
In recent days, at least one official of the Kherson regional council has warned that the occupying forces are laying the foundations of the “Kherson People’s Republic”. If true, the move would reflect Moscow’s creation of two breakaway states in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Ukraine considers these breakaway regions – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic – to be occupied by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of these two territories in the days leading up to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as part of its pretext to launch an assault on the country.
“A referendum on the creation of the HPR (Kherson People’s Republic) is being prepared in the Kherson region,” Kherson region council member Sergey Khlan wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday calling on fellow members of the council to boycott meetings with the Russian occupying forces.
“Be part of Ukrainian history as citizens, whose names will be remembered by future generations, and not as useless traitors,” he added.
On Sunday morning, protesters in Kherson waved Ukrainian flags, chanted anti-Russian slogans and shouted swear words at Putin, videographer Artem Ivanov, who is on the ground in Kherson, told CNN. “Kherson is Ukrainian”, “Putin is a