Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Moscow-Imposed Administration Plans Referendum In Ukraine's Kherson On Joining Russia.

Kherson has been fully under Russian control since early March. (file photo)

Kherson has been fully under Russian control since early March. (file photo)

The Moscow-installed military administration ruling the area around the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson said it is preparing to hold a referendum on joining Russia.

"Yes, we are preparing for a referendum -- and we will hold it," Kirill Stremoussov, the deputy head of Kherson's military and civil administration, said in a video published on Telegram.

Stremoussov said Kherson should become "a full-fledged member" of Russia.

Russian-installed officials said earlier that their security forces had detained Kherson Mayor Ihor Kolykhayev on June 28 after he refused to follow Moscow's orders. A local official said the mayor was kidnapped.

Kherson, an important port on the Black Sea, has been fully under Russian control since early March, just weeks after Moscow launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

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