According to recent reports from the region’s leaders, the Ukrainian city of Kherson, which Russian forces have held since the early onset of the invasion of Ukraine, is now asking Russia to let them be part of their country.

Russian state-controlled media group TASS reported that the Deputy Head of the Regional Military and Civilian Administration in Kherson Kirill Stremousov said he was asking for direct absorption into Russia but expressed that he did not want a referendum but rather a direct annexation.

“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,” he clarified. “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.”

“The referendum, which was absolutely legally held in Crimea, was not recognized by the world community, which did everything not to recognize Russia as a full-blown member of the global community,” TASS reported the deputy head stating.