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Annexing the south of Ukraine, the ambition that Russia hides less and less

Statements by high-level Russian officials leave almost no room for doubt: Russia is preparing a long-term occupation, or even annexation, of the southern territories of Ukraine of which he took control from the beginning of his military operation almost three months ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, upon starting his offensive on February 24 against his neighbor, assured that the Ukrainian territories would not be occupied and maintained that he only wanted to defend the Russian-speaking populations that, according to him, would be oppressed by kyiv.

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But the latest statement by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Jusnulin, during a visit to the Zaporizhia region, taken over by the Russian military, hints at other targets.

“I believe that the future of this region is to work within the friendly Russian family. That is why I have come, to contribute as much as possible to integration”he said on Wednesday.

The official also explained that the region’s nuclear power plant, which produces up to 20% of the electricity in Ukrainewill work for Russiaa less May kyiv pay.

Sergei Aksenov, the governor of Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, insisted on “to see the future [de la península y de las regiones de Zaporiyia y de Jersón] within a single state. Russia.

And the authorities stationed by the Russian army in Kherson also do not hide their desire for that area to be part of Russia.

“Today we are a territory under the control of the armed forces [rusas] but in the future […] there will be a region of Jershon in Russia”, declared on Thursday Vladimir Saldo, head of the pro-Russian administration, quoted on Thursday by the Ria Novosti agency.

Previously, it had announced that the ruby ​​would be introduced as currency in the region.

Besides, Russia It has been accused of having confiscated the crops of that region, something that Moscow denies.

On the other hand, in the last three months the annexation to Russia of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk – whose independence was recognized by the Russian authorities just before the offensive – but no concrete project has been announced.

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The Kremlin does not deny any possible annexation and affirms that it wants to respect the will of the local populations, a good part of which fled as a result of the Russian offensive.

“The preamble to any action in this sense can only be the expression of the will of the populations of those regions […] so that they can decide who they want to live with,” said Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for the Russian presidency, on Thursday, when asked about the future of Kherson and Zaporizhia.

An idea reminiscent of the referendum on the annexation of Crimea to Russia 2014, although, according to Peskov, the ambition The immediate action of the Russian authorities is to restore water and electricity to the areas left without them due to the fighting.

Since mid-April, Ukraine had stated that Russia prepared the annexation of those regions of the southand more considering that the Russian military campaign is registering failures in other areas of the country.

All in all, kyiv intends to fight and reconquer the lost territories.

Yes ok Russia it ran into strong resistance in kyiv, with difficulties in Donbas (east) and had to withdraw from Kharkov (northeast), since the first weeks of the conflict it has controlled the Kherson region and much of Zaporizhia.

Ukrainian resistance has also halted the advance of Russian troops in Odessa, a large port city on the Black Sea, in the southwest, and in Dnipro, in the center of the country.

But, in fact, Russia It already controls the entire coastline of the Sea of ​​Azov and can hope, with the fall of Mariupol, to consolidate its territorial gains with a land bridge connecting Russian territory with Crimea.

A Russian general declared at the end of April that the ultimate goal of Russia was to control all south from Ukraineto Odessa and Transnistria, a pro-Russian separatist territory of Moldova.

Source: Elcomercio

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