May 19, 2022

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Russia invades Ukraine, resistance continues in Mariupol

Russia invades Ukraine, resistance continues in Mariupol

Denis Pushlin arrives to deliver a press conference in Donetsk on April 11 (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

A Russian-backed separatist leader has said the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic will support a Russian-occupied region in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya region, after it allegedly made what he called an “appeal” to break away from Ukraine and join the breakaway republic.

Separatist leader Denis Pushlin made his remarks to Russian state media Russia-24 on Tuesday, saying that the separatist republic would not immediately accept the region in its “administrative borders”, but would instead resolve the issue at a later time.

A video posted by a Russian journalist on Tuesday claimed that the Rozovsky region, located 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Mariupol, held a vote on Tuesday in favor of secession from Ukraine to join the Russian-backed separatist region of Pushilin.

CNN is not broadcasting the video because it could not verify its authenticity, that it was taken in the Rozovsky district, that the individuals were in fact Ukrainian citizens, or that they were not pressured to vote in favor of the measure.

Some context: This is the first time during the war that a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine has allegedly attempted to secede from the country, and it may end up being the first attempt by Russians and Russian-backed separatists to annex more Ukrainian territory.

However, this is not the first time during the war that the political situation of a region changed significantly during the period of Russian occupation.

Shortly after Melitopol fell under Russian control in early March, gunmen arrested the city’s mayor and a new pro-Russian mayor was installed. The unelected mayor has Since then he has started a number of pro-Russian movesincluding commissioning broadcasts for Russian news outlets.

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City workers and Russian troops too They staged a publicity stunt They lowered and signed the Ukrainian flag and claimed that they had sent it to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.