According to one of the Russian negotiators in the conflict in Ukraine, a representative said that Ukraine could hold referendums starting in July to determine if it wants to annexe its territories.
Leonid Slutsky (chair of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house) said that while (...), is impossible to predict, "I do not want to make any predictions but I think the liberated territories will hold a vote more or less simultaneously, which seems logical." The official who is part the Russian delegation to the peace negotiations with Ukraine, which have been in limbo for weeks, stated that "I expect that that will happen in July."
Russia refers to the Ukrainian territories it occupies along with its separatist allies as "liberated territory". These are the self-proclaimed republics Donetsk & Lugansk that Russia recognizes and whose leaders aspire to join Russia.
There have been administrations imposed to introduce the Russian ruble to their currency, grant Russian citizenship to residents, and even set up Russian communication networks. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, said that these four territories must be free to decide their own future. He said, "We have no doubt they will make their best decision."
Russia has occupied these areas and controls the entire coast of Sea of Azov. This land bridge connects Russian territory to the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.