What happens: Russia wants to take four regions of Ukraine into Russia itself, annexing them. This applies to Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya. This will be announced on Friday. What is the background: Since 2014, Russia has supported separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk and invaded in February under the pretext of protecting residents there. Russia has occupied parts of the other two counties, but Ukraine has recently reacted to the offensive. How did it happen: Russia held referendums in the four regions, where residents under occupation were asked if they wanted to join Russia. The same was done on the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Therefore, it is important: The international community does not accept these annexations, but gives the Putin regime a pretext to say that it is now Ukraine that is attacking Russia. This means they can go even harder to war, at worst, with nuclear weapons.
THE PRESS: President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle seem desperate, says Russian researcher Julie Wilhelmsen. Occupied areas
It is the four regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya in Ukraine that will be incorporated into
Russia. In Luhansk, Russia has occupied the entire county, while the other three regions are partially occupied.
– There will be a ceremony for the signing of agreements on the entry of new territories into the Russian Federation. There will be a big speech by President Putin at this event, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RIA.
According to the Russian state
news agency Tass, the ceremony will take place on Friday at 14:00 local time.
Already this weekend
wrote independent and Kremlin-controlled Russian media that Russia will declare the four regions as its own next Friday.
BACKGROUND: This is how Russia justifies the escalation of the war The pressure against Putin
Wilhelmsen believes the planned annexation is the result of the war that is going so badly for
The regime believes the war effort is unraveling, in a scenario where the Ukrainian army has pushed Russian soldiers from one redoubt to another. And where the mobilization of 300,000 soldiers announced last week looks like complete chaos.
– Both Putin and the entire elite are under tremendous pressure. There are desperate actions and rhetoric. They want to scare NATO from providing long-range weapons that can target these regions.
– Putin is cornered and must now live by his own conspiracy. What the propaganda tells the Russians is that NATO is attacking and encircling
Russia via Ukraine, and threatening to wipe out Russia. Then you have to defend yourself by all means. – The use of nuclear weapons is opened. Do you think this is likely?
– I hope they’re not crazy enough to do it, but yes, it’s a scary scenario.
– Are you afraid yourself?
– I was afraid of the war in Ukraine in 2014.
Emergency solution for Russia
– I see this as an emergency solution for Putin, Mette Skak, a Russian expert at Aarhus University, tells VG.
– These referendums and the annexation testify that
Russia is trying to save what can be saved, continues Skak.
Professor Emeritus Kristian Gerner of Lund University also uses the word “emergency solution” when VG speaks to him:
– The goal in the early days of the war was to depose President Volodymyr Zelenskii. This is a kind of retreat, even if Putin doesn’t say so. I think this is an emergency solution that Putin is using for his self-esteem and legitimacy now that the war is not going very well.
– What does it mean for the ongoing war that these four regions of Ukraine, in the eyes of the Russians, now become Russian?
– If Ukraine attacks targets in these regions, then it would be an attack on
Russia. The speculation is that Putin will then increase the mobilization. But I think what mainly changes is that Russia “forever”, at least in our day, does not want peace in Europe. They will not contribute to a stable and peaceful world order. The most important thing is that Putin’s ego and Russia’s greatness are kept alive.
– What do you think of such a policy?
– It appears that Putin is pursuing a self-destructive policy.
Russia is increasingly isolating itself and, in the long run, Russia will fall back into development, says Kristian Gerner. UD condemns
Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (AP) reiterates his condemnation of the so-called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine and says they are invalid.
– These are areas under Russian military occupation, and it is the military occupation authorities that determine the outcome. Even the Russian media could not hide that the results were falsified, Huitfeldt told NTB.
The elections, in which the question was whether regions should be incorporated into Russia, are not considered by international observers to be neither free nor fair, and Norway and a number of other Western countries have condemned the votes and made it clear that they will not recognize the result
Russia’s illegal implementation of “referendums” in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya is not valid and cannot be a basis for changing the status of these regions in Ukraine. Nor can it be used to legitimize attempts to incorporate these regions into Russia, he says.
SUPPORTS ATTACHMENT: A cartel is displayed in Moscow in support of the Russian regime and in support of annexation.
Russia carried out a similar maneuver with the Crimean peninsula in 2014. After pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency during the Euromaidan revolution, Russia took over the peninsula.
A referendum was then organized in which there was a clear majority in favor of the incorporation of Crimea into
Russia. However, the result was considered a foregone conclusion and most of the world still recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine.