The Russian-appointed heads of Ukraine’s four breakaway regions appealed to President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to become part of Russia.
Denis Pushilin, representative of the separatist authorities of the Donetsk region, said in an interview with the Russian state-run news agency TASS that he would be heading to Moscow with the final protocol of a recent referendum on joining Russia “to formalize reunification.”
Separately, Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, told TASS that he would also go to the Russian capital “to finalize the procedures on joining Russia.”
Meanwhile, the separatist civil-military administration of the Zaporizhzhia region said its head Evgeny Balitsky was also going to Moscow, while his colleague from the breakaway Kherson regional administration, Vladimir Saldo, asked Putin to accept the territory as part of Russia on Telegram.
Russian state media reported that 98% of voters chose to join Russia following referenda in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk, though the votes have been widely condemned by the international community as European nations and the US described them a “sham” and said they would not recognize them.