President Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin advisers face a dilemma: press ahead with annexation referendums in occupied Ukrainian territories, or wait to seize more territory, risking the Russians saying “something is not right,” he writes. Jellyfish.
Vladimir Putin Photo: kremlin.ru
Journalists at this investigative site Blocked by Russian authorities On March 4, while restricting Russian access to the BBC and Deutsche Welle, two sources close to the Kremlin said that Russian authorities did not know how to proceed with the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk. Occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.
According to the calculations of Russian intelligence journalists, Moscow’s armed forces now control 60.25% of the Donetsk region, which has not increased significantly recently (it was 59.7% a month ago).
Medusa sources say that despite this fact, the Kremlin has not yet abandoned the idea of holding a referendum in the fall on the annexation of the self-proclaimed DPR and RPL and other regions belonging to Ukraine.
The Kremlin had previously hoped to hold all referendums on September 11, when Russia holds elections for regional legislatures and replaces several governors. However, according to the original plan, Russian troops were supposed to occupy the entire territory of the Donetsk region by this date.
On February 22, we remind you after a while Recognized independence Russian President Vladimir Putin has de facto recognized two separatist organizations in eastern Ukraine Their sovereignty over the entire territory Donetsk and Luhansk regions were not the only areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
Director of the FSB, Alexander Portnikov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, and Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Golokoltsev (Photo: Sputnik / Profimedia Pictures)
Some of Putin’s advisers want to quickly annex Ukrainian territories
Some of Vladimir Putin’s advisers are now advocating that the referendum be held on September 11, but that only 60 percent of the Donetsk region be annexed to Russia. In this scenario, if Russian troops could later occupy the rest of the region, it would be “annexed to Russia by default”.
Between May and June, Medusa sources indicated that Russian officials believed that the Donetsk region would remain under their control “for some time” and that a “peaceful” annexation vote would be possible, but the Kremlin again misjudged the situation up front.
However, officials in Moscow will be very reluctant to postpone the polls again, bearing in mind that the original plan was to hold them in the spring after the swift occupation of Kiev and much of Ukraine.
Also, Russian-installed occupation authorities have already begun setting up election boards and signing documents to prepare referendums for voting, including in the already occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia territories.
The Kremlin fears that the Russians will understand that things are not going as planned
But Vladimir Putin’s advisers are already working on an alternative scenario: holding a referendum in the winter. The Kremlin hopes that Russian troops will be able to capture the entire Donetsk region by December-January and not lose control over the already occupied territories.
According to Medusa’s interlocutors, the winter voting scene is changing “heavily.” At the same time, the Kremlin understands that another postponement of the referendum could confuse supporters of the war.
“People will sense that something is wrong, the calculations are not confirmed. He may see that as a weakness,” said a source.
Medusa journalists have already kept secret, ordered by the Kremlin, the percentage of Russians who want the “special military operation” to end immediately. Ordered Putinal on February 24 is significantly higher than in the official poll.
Medusa’s sources indicated that the Kremlin had not yet figured out how to avoid warning that if the Russians postponed the vote again, things would not go according to official propaganda. However, the authorities installed by the Russians in the occupied territories are already gradually preparing for the winter voting situation.
Leonid Pacesinyk, head of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, and Ekaterina Kubareva, deputy head of the Kherson occupation authorities, have already said the referendum will be held only after the entire Donetsk region is captured. Exact dates.
Putin and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (Photo: Kommersant Photo Agency / ddp USA / Profimedia)
Vladimir Putin is not happy with his propagandists
Russian journalists’ sources also explain that if the referendums are postponed until winter, Kremlin propagandists will have to bring “new slogans and elements of ideology” to their organization.
Medusa previously wrote that the internal political committee of the presidential administration created the concept of “New Russia” for the referendum, which would convince the residents of the occupied territories that after joining Russia, the country would become “stronger and richer.” Get a new grade’.
However, this ideological point seems not to please Vladimir Putin and members of Russia’s Security Council, who believe that the country is returning to its rights and not “acquiring a new one.”
As a result, the occupation authorities in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions are now promoting referendums under the slogans of “Together with Russia” and “One People,” concepts dear to the Kremlin leader.
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