The pro-Moscow authorities of Ukraine's Kherson region will request a Russian military base in the region, Russian state news agencies reported Tuesday.
Russian state news agencies RIA-Novosti and TASS quoted Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-installed administration of Kherson region, as saying, "there should be a military base of the Russian Federation in the Kherson region. We will ask for this, and the entire population is interested in this."
The Russian military took control of parts of the Kherson region in mid-March, and Russian-backed officials claim to have occupied a series of government posts.
Ukrainian officials estimate around half the population of Kherson has now left the region, many of whom say they have fled heavy-handed Russian rule.
Russian efforts to advance a referendum on a so-called "Kherson People's Republic" that would mirror the emergence of Russian-backed separatist statelets in eastern Ukraine appeared to have been put on hold.