According to Russian state-owned media outlet TASS, residents and officials of the territories of Kharkiv requested on Wednesday for their region to be joined with Russia. The interim civil administration contributes to the sentiments of the people, according to Vitaly Ganchev, head of the region's civil administration.
Ganchev has said that nearly 20% of Kharkiv’s region has been liberated from Russian rule since its vanquish on March 2, 2022.
Why join Russia?
The semi-occupied territory is home to the port city Kherson which has been described as a “full fledged Russian city” by Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region.
Notably, Stremousov’s comments were made after the commemoration and celebration of Russia Day, a national Russian holiday celebrating the autonomy of the country — in Kherson, Ukraine. The celebration included a festival with concerts lined up with Russian performers.
Kherson has been a main target of Russia’s plan of permanent consolidation and control since its conquest.
Amid claims of Russia’s plan to annex Kherson or make it independent in a pro-Russia polity, Putin signed a decree back in May to fast-track the citizenship and passport process for Kherson and Zaporizhzhia citizens and residents.
This decree was an extension of the 2019 decree giving the same benefits to Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
Ned Price, US State Department spokesman, described the growing intensity of communications and visitations in Kherson on Russian behalf as a means of control, adding that a minimum of 25 broadcasting towers in said area are under Russian control, in addition to the already popular pro-Russia media channels.