aSince Tuesday, there has been an answer to the question of how Russian President Vladimir Putin will respond to the offensive of the Ukrainian reoccupation: “referendums” are now scheduled to be held in the Russian-occupied parts of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine in Donetsk, Luhansk. , Cherson and Zaporizhia spoke. Summing up this approach in Russian, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “The peoples of the respective regions must decide their own fate.”
The spirit of consensus and unity that appeared in Putin’s “referendums” was reflected in images from the occupied territories shown on Russian state television: people who appeared as members of bodies called “People’s Council”, “Public Chamber” or “General Assembly” raised themselves in front of the three Russian colors In poorly lit barren rooms, their hands became harmonious.
Preparations for such “referendums” were repeatedly reported for several months. After all, Putin views large parts of Ukraine as “historic Russia” as he presses forward with the “Russianization” of the occupied territories. However, the target dates were more and more pushed back under the impression of lack of success on the battlefield. Sometimes, the goal was to occupy at least the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk proclaimed in 2014, or “liberate” them, in the words of the Russians.
But in the Donetsk region, the Russian offensive is faltering, and the storming of the city of Slavyansk has become unlikely after the recent losses in the Kharkiv region. Even the Luhansk region, which was completely occupied at the beginning of July, is now again threatened from the Russian point of view. Andrei Turchak, general secretary of the powerful United Russia party, recently mentioned November 4, which Russia celebrates as “Day of National Unity”, as a possible date for “referendums”. But in light of the successful Ukrainian counterattack, the exiled Russian news portal Medusa reports that the Kremlin has halted preparations for “referendums” for now.
Polling stations are also being established in Russia
Now it is supposed to happen very quickly: one occupation regime after another announced on Tuesday, from September 23 to 27, that is, from Friday to Tuesday next week, that “referendums” should be held on union with Russia. “Finally,” state TV from Donbass reported, in addition to prominent occupation officials, they also showed the alleged residents to the cameras with corresponding statements. Torchak now said that “Donbass and the liberated areas are already Russia” “de facto”; “A fair and open vote” will “by law once and for all.”
In Moscow, Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma, asked, “If they (the inhabitants of the occupied territories, editor) say in direct expression of their will that they want to be part of Russia, comrades, we support them – do you agree?” Which, as it is Expectedly, she showed great approval for the promised “joining Russia”.
It looked like a quick link to a model “referendum” that took place in March 2014 in Crimea, which Russia had just occupied. Now the Russian representation of the “people’s will” must take place casually and under conditions of war. Medusa sources close to the Kremlin now say she has no intention of creating even an “illusion of legality”.