The referendum on September 23-27 in the Donbass and southern Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine on their accession to Russian Federation is, prima facie, an exercise of the right of self-determination by the native population who reject the western-backed regime change in Kiev in 2014 and the ascendancy of extreme nationalist forces with neo-Nazi leanings in the power structure.
But it has other dimensions, too. In all probability, the referendum will overwhelmingly opt for accession to Russian Federation. In Donbass, it is a straightforward question: “Do you support the entry of the DPR into the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation?” For Kherson and the Zaporozhye Cossacks, the referendum ascertains three sequential decisions: secession of these territories from Ukraine; formation of an independent state; and its entry into the Russian Federation as a subject.
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