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Russian-appointed authorities plan to annex Ukrainian city of Kherson

Russian-appointed authorities plan to annex Ukrainian city of Kherson
A woman holds a poster with the inscription Kherson Is Ukraine during the Match for Peace charity soccer match between Switzerland's FC Basel 1893 and Ukraine's FK Dynamo Kiev. Russian-appointed authorities in Kherson on Wednesday announced plans to annex the city. Photo by Georgios Kefalas/EPA-EFE

May 11 (UPI) -- Russian-appointed authorities in the Ukrainian city of Kherson announced Wednesday that they plan to seek annexation from Moscow amid its invasion of the country.

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the military administration Russia put in place to run Kherson in April after it occupied the city a month earlier, called for the city to be annexed, while adding that no plans exist to create a separate republic like those sought in the eastern Donbas region.

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"The city of Kherson is Russia; there will be no the KNR [Kherson People's Republic] on the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendums," Stremousov said in a televised briefing.

"It will be a single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the president of the Russian Federation, and there will be a request to make [Kherson] into a full-fledged region of the Russian Federation."

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Stremousov also said that a bank for converting money to Russian rubles will start operating in the region by the end of May and will ultimately be integrated into the Bank of Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it would be "up to the residents of the Kherson region" to make a request for annexation, adding that it would be closely evaluated by experts to ensure its legal basis is "absolutely clear."

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Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak dismissed Russia's plans to annex Kherson in a tweet Wednesday.

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"The invaders may ask to join even Mars or Jupiter," he wrote. "The Ukrainian army will liberate Kherson, no matter what games with words they play."

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