IRYNA BALACHUK – WEDNESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2022, 19:54
The Kremlin has decided not to rush the official "accession" of the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia, and to postpone the closing of Russia’s borders. The latter decision was approved in light of the growing discontent with "mobilisation" among Russian citizens.
Source: Meduza, a Russian media outlet, citing sources close to the Russian presidential administration
Details: Meduza’s sources said that the Kremlin has decided "not to rush things", because the "accession" of Ukrainian territories to Russia [which Putin sees as a potential source of a boost in public support – ed.] "will have nearly negligible PR effect" against the backdrop of the [Russian citizens’ discontent with] mobilisation.
The sources said that "everything will get annexed, but without great rush". The Kremlin has not yet convinced Russian citizens that Russia needs those territories at all, they added.
At the same time, one of Meduza’s sources, a person close to the Kremlin, suggested that the delay in the official "accession" of the Ukrainian territories to Russia might be caused by the fact that the Russian government wants to "leave some leeway" for negotiations with Ukraine and Western countries.
The source added that Russian President Vladimir Putin believed that he had nothing to discuss with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy because he was allegedly a "puppet of the West".
Quote from Meduza’s interlocutor: "[The Kremlin] might propose that Russia keep Crimea and the territories of ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ [the Russian-controlled, self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics – ed.] within their current borders. Russia might recognise Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts as ‘states’, with Russian troops on their territory. This is an acceptable scenario [for the Russian government]."
Details: Meduza reported that despite these delays and equivocations, pro-government Russian parties, in particular, Edinaya Rossiya (United Russia, the ruling party), are preparing to open their branches in the annexed territories of Ukraine.
Meduza’s sources also said that the Russian government was considering the possibility of dismissing Denis Pushylin and Leonid Pasichnyk, the Russian-appointed puppet heads of the "DPR" and "LPR", respectively. These two collaborators might become senators [members of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly, Russia’s parliament –ed.], while their positions will be taken over by Russian officials.
Meduza reported that this was a course of events championed by Sergey Kiriyenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia and "the Kremlin’s point man in Donbas".
Meanwhile, Meduza also stressed that the Kremlin’s main concern is currently the discontent with mobilisation among Russian citizens. According to Meduza, the Kremlin has conducted a closed poll on this topic, and the authorities were not pleased with its results.
In addition, Meduza stated that the Kremlin has somewhat adjusted its plans to ban all men of conscription age from leaving Russia. Meduza’s sources said that while large numbers of people are fleeing Russia, it is currently difficult to enforce the closure of borders due to the lack of "spare" forces.
Reference: Occupation administrations in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts of Ukraine declared the final results of the sham referendums "on accession to Russia" on Wednesday, 28 September.
The occupiers’ minions claimed an exceptionally high voter turnout (over 76.8%) and an exceptionally high number of votes in support of the accession to Russia (between 87.0% and 97.4%). They have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to annex the occupied territories to Russia immediately after announcing the results of the sham referendums.
According to Russian laws, the procedure for the annexation of new territories to the Russian Federation is as follows:
Russia must first recognise Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts as "independent states" (as it has done in the case of "DPR" and "LPR" in the beginning of the full-scale invasion).
Then, Putin and heads of all the territories that are to join Russia must conclude and sign agreements, which must be reviewed by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
The "accession" must then be approved by the State Duma and the Federation Council [the lower and the upper houses of the Federal Assembly, Russia’s parliament, respectively – ed.].
Finally, Putin must approve his own decision on the annexation of these Ukrainian territories.
Russia may announce the "accession" of the occupied areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts on 30 September.
Valentina Matviyenko, the Chair of Russia’s Federation Council [the upper house of the Federal Assembly, Russia’s parliament – ed.], has stated that the Federation Council may consider the matter of the accession of occupied Ukrainian territories to Russia on 4 October if the results of the sham referendums are "positive".
Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian State Duma [the lower house of the Federal Assembly – ed.], also announced that the session on the "accession" of Ukrainian territories will be held on 3 and 4 October.