Ukraine War: Does Putin Want to Create “South Russia”?

Experts consider the plans reasonable

Plans for ‘Southern Russia’: Will Putin establish his own state in Ukraine?

It seems that the Russian ruling party “United Russia” wants to establish a new state called “South Russia” on the occupied territories of Ukraine. This was reported by the station “Radio Free Europe”. He has a “manifesto” from the party, according to which referendums will be held on the creation of such a state in Ukraine. In the document, Ukraine was deprived of all state sovereignty and accused of being ruled by the Nazis. It is still not clear which regions should be part of the new country. Currently, Russia is trying to occupy and completely control the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Fighting also took place near Kherson, Zaporizhia, Dnipro and Mariupol on Tuesday.

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The authors of the statement use a similar choice of words as in the earlier plans for “Novorosia”, Novorossiya. “The typical southern Russian state was already in existence during the 1919-20 Russian Civil War and even then it included southern Ukraine and eastern Ukraine,” explains military expert Marcel Berny of the ETH Military Academy in Zurich. “I think it is realistic that Putin now wants southern Russia again,” he told the German Liberation Network (RND).

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He firmly believes that the Kremlin already had plans for southern Russia before the start of the war. Ulrich Kohn of the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy emphasized that the idea of ​​a new state had been around for some time. “In recent years there have always been speculations by propagandists close to the Kremlin about southern Russia,” he told Russian national television.

Ukrainian media reported that a referendum is scheduled to be held in Kherson in the next few days, for fear of vote rigging. Russia denied these plans. “In Donetsk and Luhansk, there may soon be sham referendums in which a vote will be taken on whether the country belongs to southern Russia or directly to the Russian motherland,” says expert Bernie. Ukrainian media assume on May 14 or 15. There may be referendums in Mariupol, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

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The Manifesto for Southern Russia provides for the introduction of the Russian language and culture. But rusting will likely go much further than that, according to Bernie. “People are forced to pay in rubles and accept Russian passports,” he said, referring to the experience in Crimea. The Russian Orthodox Church is also expected to have a stronger influence. According to Radio Free Europe, Roman Romanov, a senior official in Putin’s party, is one of the possible authors of the statement. Its name appears in the document’s metadata. It is said that advisers to the oligarch Konstantin Malofeev are involved. His name is also on the EU and US sanctions lists.

However, the expert in Hamburg Kuhn does not believe that the plans of southern Russia can be realized. “At the moment, it does not seem that Russia is capable of seizing and controlling southern Ukraine,” he said. This will require a huge naval power and Russia has already lost its most important ship with the Moskva.

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Military expert Bernie put forward a second reason: “But there will be great resistance from southern Russia in Ukraine.” Political and military offices in cities, as well as police stations and critical infrastructure, must also be exchanged. “I have a serious doubt that this is realistic.” In addition, the West will not accept southern Russia. Instead, Western countries would support the Ukrainian resistance and rebellion against such an imposed state.

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