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Ukraine: 'We want to go home' - Melitopol resident's take on referendum to join Russia
 
01:18

Ukraine: 'We want to go home' - Melitopol resident's take on referendum to join Russia

Ukraine, Melitopol
September 22, 2022 at 11:05 GMT +00:00 · Published

Residents of Melitopol, in the south of Zaporozhye, appeared to view the upcoming referendum on joining Russia with a mixture of relief and anticipation - although there was some uncertainty - when speaking to Ruptly on Tuesday.

The region is one of four holding such a vote over the coming days, including the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), and Kherson.

"We want to go home (to Russia)" said one Melitopol local. "We've wanted to go home for a long time, since 2014."

Some appeared to be unsure, with the referenda only announced hours earlier.

"I find it difficult to say, I can't say anything. <…> I haven't thought about it yet," confessed another resident.

However, others believed the vote would only be positive for the region.

"Well I think there will be a more stable life then. Still, some kind of protection, you see what's going on. Maybe even the war will be over faster," a third local predicted.

Russian troops took control of Kherson and the part of Zaporozhye including Melitopol in April, setting up civil-military administrations and putting the ruble into circulation.

The referenda are due to be held in the regions, as well as in the DPR and LPR, on September 23-27.

President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to support the decision, with Russia prepared to 'ensure safe conditions' for the votes and let people 'express their will'.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the 'pseudo-referendum', while his press secretary Sergei Nikiforov claimed that the action meant there would be no chance of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan described them as 'sham referenda', while President Joe Biden said 'Russia has violated the basic principles of the UN Charter' and had also made 'open nuclear threats against Europe'.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said their countries would not recognise the results, while EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said those involved in organising them 'will be held accountable'.

Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, after recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR.

Kiev condemned the action, while Zelensky ordered martial law and full mobilisation in February.

Ukraine: 'We want to go home' - Melitopol resident's take on referendum to join Russia
 
01:18
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Residents of Melitopol, in the south of Zaporozhye, appeared to view the upcoming referendum on joining Russia with a mixture of relief and anticipation - although there was some uncertainty - when speaking to Ruptly on Tuesday.

The region is one of four holding such a vote over the coming days, including the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), and Kherson.

"We want to go home (to Russia)" said one Melitopol local. "We've wanted to go home for a long time, since 2014."

Some appeared to be unsure, with the referenda only announced hours earlier.

"I find it difficult to say, I can't say anything. <…> I haven't thought about it yet," confessed another resident.

However, others believed the vote would only be positive for the region.

"Well I think there will be a more stable life then. Still, some kind of protection, you see what's going on. Maybe even the war will be over faster," a third local predicted.

Russian troops took control of Kherson and the part of Zaporozhye including Melitopol in April, setting up civil-military administrations and putting the ruble into circulation.

The referenda are due to be held in the regions, as well as in the DPR and LPR, on September 23-27.

President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to support the decision, with Russia prepared to 'ensure safe conditions' for the votes and let people 'express their will'.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the 'pseudo-referendum', while his press secretary Sergei Nikiforov claimed that the action meant there would be no chance of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan described them as 'sham referenda', while President Joe Biden said 'Russia has violated the basic principles of the UN Charter' and had also made 'open nuclear threats against Europe'.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said their countries would not recognise the results, while EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said those involved in organising them 'will be held accountable'.

Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, after recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR.

Kiev condemned the action, while Zelensky ordered martial law and full mobilisation in February.