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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday warned residents in areas to the south and west of Donetsk in opposition to offering private info to Russian troopers.
“I urge the residents of the southern regions of Ukraine – Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – to be very careful about what information you provide to the invaders,” he mentioned in an deal with. “If they ask you to fill out some questionnaires…you should know this is not to help you.”
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Zelesnkyy mentioned Russian troops could also be amassing passport knowledge below the guise of finishing a “census” of residents within the areas to ship humanitarian help.
“This is aimed to falsify the so-called referendum on your land – if an order comes from Moscow to stage such a show,” he added. “This is the reality. Be careful.”
Zelenskyy’s warning got here simply hours after Russian Basic Minnekaev informed Russian information businesses that Moscow’s purpose was to ascertain “full control” of not solely the jap Donbas space, however southern areas that run alongside the Black Sea.
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Zaporizhzhia, which sits instantly west of Donetsk above the Sea of Azov, has develop into a vacation spot for evacuees fleeing the port metropolis of Mariupol in Donetsk.
Kherson, southwest of Zaporizhzhia, lays instantly above the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula.
Minnekaev mentioned Russia’s objective was not solely to create a land bridge between the Donbas and occupied-Crimea, however to achieve superiority over all Black Sea ports – extending its coastal entry exterior the Sea of Azov.
Zelenskyy warned that makes an attempt to annex extra areas in Ukraine won’t be tolerated and threatened extra monetary repercussions.
“I want to say straight away: any ‘Kherson People’s Republics’ are not going to fly. If someone wants a new annexation, it can only lead to new powerful sanctions strikes on Russia,” he mentioned.
“You will make your country as poor as Russia hasn’t been since the 1917 civil war. So it is better to seek peace now,” Zelenskyy added.