Ingestion as in Crimea 2014
The Kremlin will plan the annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk
According to American estimates, Russia wants to annex the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Ukraine as soon as possible. In order to legitimize it, referendums must be organised. The Pentagon assumes that the Kremlin will manipulate the results of the vote.
According to US estimates, Russia wants to annex the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine in the near future. Russia likely wants to hold rigged referendums in mid-May on the membership of the two breakaway Donbass regions, US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Michael Carpenter said on Monday. .
A similar approach is planned in the Cherson region in southern Ukraine, now controlled by Russia, where Moscow already wants to impose the use of the ruble as a currency. Carpenter stressed that such bogus referenda “were not considered legitimate” – such as the referendum on Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Referring to the reliability of US intelligence information on Russia’s plans, the ambassador said he found it “very credible”. “Unfortunately, we were more right than wrong in disclosing (Russia’s) next steps.” A few weeks before the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the United States had urgently warned of the danger of an invasion by Russian forces in the neighboring country. Washington thus came up against the skepticism of the Western allies.
Russian troops make ‘minimal’ advances in Donbass
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would recognize the two breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donetsk. Three days later, on February 24, began the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. After a failed attempt to overthrow the government in kyiv, the Russian army is concentrating on southern and eastern Ukraine.
According to a representative of the US Department of Defense, Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov visited the Donbass last week. He stayed there “several days” but is now probably back in Russia. The Pentagon official could not confirm reports that Gerasimov was injured in a Ukrainian attack.
Earlier, reports citing Ukrainian officials said the Ukrainian army bombed a Russian command center in the town of Izyum, south of Kharkiv. Gerasimov met Russian commanders there. Apparently he had already left the scene at the time of the Ukrainian attack.
The Pentagon official said on Monday that Russia was making “minimal” progress in Donbass. In this way, Russian soldiers would take control of individual villages, but then lose control again to the Ukrainian army.