Russia may set up military base in Ukraine's Kherson region - RIA

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Drone footage shows a military vehicle in a field in Oleksandrivka, Kherson region

(Reuters) - The Russia-appointed administration of Ukraine's Kherson region will ask Moscow to set up a military base on its territory, Russia's RIA news agency quoted a local government official as saying on Tuesday.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February, seizing in particular the Kherson region which is adjacent to Crimea, the peninsula which Moscow has controlled since an earlier conflict in 2014.

It has installed a new administration there and started introducing the Russian rouble as a currency.

"There should be a Russian military base in the Kherson region," Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of what Russia calls the "civil-military regional administration" of Kherson, told RIA.

"We will ask for this and this is what the whole population wants. This is essential and will be a guarantor of security for the region and its inhabitants."

The Kremlin calls the invasion a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and rid it of radical anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and its allies have dismissed that as a baseless pretext for the war, which has killed thousands of people in Ukraine and displaced millions.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Michael Perry)

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