Russian annexation researcher: – Scary – VG

RUSSIA: On the Red Square in Moscow there are banners that read: “Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson – Russia”.

Russia annexes four regions of Ukraine. The goal is to scare NATO to stop sending weapons to the Ukrainian army, says one of Norway’s leading Russian researchers. She herself is frightened of development.


Updated only now

The development follows an expected pattern: on Thursday the Kremlin acknowledges the results of the “referendums” that Russia has promoted in four regions of Ukraine.

On Friday, President Vladimir Putin will announce it the regions are annexed and incorporated into Russia itself.

Thus, the Russian military doctrine will overturn the war: then it will be Ukraine that will attack Russia, with weapons from NATO countrieswill claim Russia.

– With the annexation of these four regions, the regime is trying to tell its citizens that Russia is now being attacked, says Russian NUPI researcher Julie Wilhelmsen to VG.

– But a deterrent signal also goes west to NATO to end support for Ukraine, he elaborates.

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 Russia.

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.

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