“If it has to be postponed, it’s the military’s fault.” As war with Ukraine stalls, Kremlin officials consider postponing ‘referendum’ in occupied territories

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Russian military vehicles in the occupied city of Kherson. July 26, 2022.

Talk To Andrei Pertsev. Abbreviation Irish heart.

Russia’s war against Ukraine deadlock reachedIn any case, two Medusa sources close to the Kremlin say the Putin administration has not yet abandoned the idea of ​​holding a fake referendum in occupied Ukraine this fall.

as Medusa report Moscow used to be long plan Hold referendums in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions as a step towards annexing the occupied Ukrainian territories. Kremlin officials hoped to time the “voting” to coincide with Russia’s gubernatorial and local elections scheduled for September 11.

Moscow’s plans, however, depended on the forces and agents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic to occupy the entire Donetsk region by this date. analysisRussia has made little progress in the region in the last month and currently controls only about 60% of its territory.

As a result, the Putin administration is now considering alternative options. He will hold a referendum as scheduled on September 11, but annex only his 60% of the Donetsk region. If Russian forces are able to occupy the rest of the region at a later date, this territory will be incorporated into Russia “by default”.

Medusa sources close to the Kremlin emphasize that in May and June Russian authorities believed that by September the Donetsk region would have been under their control “for some time already.” As a result, they assumed it would be possible to organize a referendum “coldly”. But Moscow once again misjudged the situation on the front lines.

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According to Medusa’s sources, Russian officials are unwilling to postpone the referendum again. Original plan Spring them. Moreover, the authorities installed by Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine have already begun to create. polite Preparationeven put out notices on billboards.

That said, the Putin administration is also working on a back-up plan that includes postponing the referendum until this winter. I hope to be able to Scenarios involving a winter referendum are “increasingly likely,” according to Meduza sources.

At the same time, Kremlin officials understand that further delaying the referendum risks confusing those who support the war. You’ll understand, they might see that as a weakness.”

Meduza’s sources emphasize that the Putin administration has not figured out how to avoid such a scenario. But Kremlin agents in the occupied territories are already trying to manage expectations. According to Medusa sources, this is evidenced by official government statements. Leonid Pasechnikthe leader of the Luhansk People’s Republic, and Ekaterina Gubarevadeputy head of the communist government in Kherson, stressing that the referendum will take place “only after” the entire Donetsk region has been occupied (without mentioning a specific date).

Medusa sources also say that if the referendum is delayed, Moscow’s spin doctors will likely have to come up with “new slogans and ideological elements” to support the annexation. report In early August, a referendum will be held under the slogan “With Russia”. Collaborators in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions are already using this tagline and the slogan “One People” (Odin Narrod in Russian) — this echoes the words of President Vladimir Putin. historical claim About Russians and Ukrainians.

According to three sources close to the Kremlin, Putin will make a final decision on the date of the referendum in the near future. One of Medusa’s sources added that he was Putin’s top official in Donbass, the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff. Sergey Kiriyenkoeverything is already in place.

“For Sergei Kiriyenko, it doesn’t matter when the referendum takes place. If they say it will be held in September, everything is ready from a technical point of view. It’s not Kiriyenko’s fault, it’s the army’s fault.This is his style: do everything possible in his own field to show his diligence and effectiveness.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not answer Medusa’s questions before publication.

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Abbreviation Irish Heart “If it has to be postponed, it’s the military’s fault.” As war with Ukraine stalls, Kremlin officials consider postponing ‘referendum’ in occupied territories

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