Russian President Vladimir Putin is humiliated, beaten and bruised, in view of the results of the last Ukrainian operation to liberate Kharkiv district from the Russian occupier, and now he wants to go to the next level, and bring all of Russia’s weight into the arena in Ukraine. In announcements published yesterday (Tuesday) by the governors of the occupied districts, which were appointed to their positions by Russia: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia districts, they announced their intention to hold a ‘referendum’ in these areas, in order to consult the residents and make a decision on whether they want to annex these districts to the Russian Federation, and become an integral part of Russia.
This, since since the occupation Russia has already introduced the Russian currency in these districts, and also forced the residents to have Russian identification documents, that is, to become Russian citizens, to register their vehicles with the Russian Ministry of Transport and to change the license plates to Russian plates, as well as to open bank accounts in Russian banks for the purpose Depositing their salaries in these accounts only.
According to the official announcements, as early as this Friday, the referendum will begin to be held in some places, and it is expected to continue in the near future, with different schedules for the different districts. According to the haste with which Russia conducts the referendums, it seems that the goal is already next week or at the most in the next two weeks, the actual annexation will be carried out.
Of course, no one expects the governors of the districts to hold a fair and democratic ‘referendum’, and it is clear to all parties involved in the matter, that the results of the referendum have already been determined even before it was decided whether to hold a referendum on the issue at all. After the annexation is carried out, Russia will consider any Ukrainian attempt to liberate the new ‘Russian’ provinces as an attack by a foreign country on Russian soil, and accordingly the laws of emergency will be invoked, a state of emergency will be declared and martial law will be imposed throughout Russia, and President Putin will be allowed to declare General conscription of the entire Russian army and all of its reserve force, as well as forced conscription of every man of fighting age, in accordance with the needs of the army and the need to inject additional personnel.
In Russia, the laws are being made more difficult
At the same time, the Russian parliament, the “Duma”, began enacting laws of war in recent days. Among other things, a law was enacted stating that any soldier or citizen who evades conscription into the army during wartime, will be sent to ten years in prison. Any company that refuses to provide the army with a service related to its field of activity will cause its owners and managers to be sent to ten years in prison, even if the army has recently ‘purchased’ services from that company, and did not pay for them.
Another law enacted by the Russian parliament states that any soldier in the Russian army who falls into voluntary captivity during wartime will also be sent to ten years in prison. There were also reports that Russia had begun to restrict the departure of men of fighting age from the country, a step similar to that taken by Ukraine in the days after the beginning of the Russian attack on it.
In Ukraine, they responded to the announcements about the referendum and warned Russia that announcements of this type will definitively close the small gap that still remains in the window of opportunity to achieve a diplomatic agreement that will end the fighting. “If there is an annexation of territories to Russia, this will close any chance of ending the fighting diplomatically,” the statement said. Ukraine also announced that it does not intend to take into account the decisions made by Russia regarding Ukrainian territories, and that the Ukrainian army will continue to hit the Russian occupier until the last of the occupiers leaves all Ukrainian territories, including the Donbas region and the Crimean Peninsula.