Russia annexed who knows what: the Kremlin could not name the borders of the “new subjects” of the Russian Federation

Russia annexed who knows what: the Kremlin could not name the borders of the “new subjects” of the Russian Federation

Having announced the annexation of new territories, the largest annexation of the Baltic states for the Kremlin in the late 1930s, the Russian authorities continue to avoid a direct answer to the question: what exactly became part of the Russian Federation.

On Wednesday, October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed federal constitutional laws on “joining” Russia with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of Ukraine.

At the same time, he approved the ratification of agreements on the admission of these regions to the Russian Federation, which were unanimously adopted by the State Duma and the Federation Council on Monday and Tuesday.

“We proceed from the fact that the situation will be stabilized and we will be able to calmly develop these territories,” Putin said, adding that the results of the “referendums” were “more than convincing” and “transparent”, and “comprehensive assistance” would be provided to the new subjects of the Russian Federation .

It remains unclear, however, within what boundaries the “new entities” became part of Russia: Russia does not control about a quarter of the Zaporozhye region, including the regional center Zaporozhye, it is losing land in Kherson, and on Monday, October 3, the LPR people’s militia reported about a breakthrough by the Ukrainian defense army in the direction of Lysichansk.

“The limits of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions are determined by the borders that existed on the day of admission to the Russian Federation and the formation of a new subject,” the documents signed by Putin say. But even the presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, is powerless to clarify the vague wording.

“Kherson and Zaporozhye – we will continue to consult with the population on the borders,” he said on Monday. And at a briefing on Wednesday, he again failed to answer the question: does the Kremlin consider those parts of the Ukrainian regions that the army left or could not capture to be annexed.

The laws signed by Putin refer to “the territory in which the military-civilian administration operated at the time of admission to the Russian Federation,” Peskov said. At the same time, he added that part of the territories Kherson and Zaporozhye have yet to be “liberated”.

The annexed but lost settlements in the Donbass, where the Russian army continues to retreat under the onslaught of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to Peskov, remain part of Russia. “They will be with Russia forever, they will be returned,” he promised (quotes from “Interfax”).

The State Duma is in favor of a rigid interpretation of the borders – within the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of the former Ukrainian SSR. “It is these boundaries that are taken as the basis, – told Vedomosti Deputy Chairman of the United Russia faction Dmitry Vyatkin. “In the Zaporozhye region, for example, part of the territory is not controlled by Russia, but it became part of the country entirely, on the border of the region,” he stressed.

But the Kremlin has not yet decided to recognize the annexation of unoccupied territories, which should deprive Ukraine of almost 20% of the area and “add” 108.8 thousand square kilometers to the Russian Federation.

“Russia has a problem – it does not fully control these territories,” said Bloomberg Alexei Makarkin, Deputy Director of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow. The Kremlin would like to announce the annexation of everything that is possible. “But you can’t move border outposts every day, otherwise Russia won’t have fixed borders on the map at all,” says Makarkin.

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