“The Kremlin wants to use falsified illegal results referendato annex part of Ukraine and recognize it as part of Russian territory, “he writes in the latest report HEI.
Annexation as a “way” to counteroffensive
ISW also estimates that Putin sees the annexation as an opportunity to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive. “Ukrainian attempts to liberate the occupied territories will be presented as attacks on Russia,” assessed the Institute of Foreign Affairs.
The annexation plans are aimed primarily at recipients in Russia – Putin hopes to increase the possibilities of creating frchotnych branches through appeals to “defend” new lands – believes the Institute of Foreign Affairs, judging that it sees no confirmation for the time being that the Kremlin is planning changes in the method of generating new forces to fight against Ukraine.
The authorities of the self-proclaimed so-called people’s republicsestablished by pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine, they intend to conduct on September 23-27 pseudo-referendato include these Russian-occupied territories into the Russian Federation. A similar intention was announced by the Russian governors in the partially occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts in southern Ukraine.
According to the ISW, Putin and his entourage realized that the forces currently at Russia’s disposal are not sufficient to conquer Ukraine, and the previous attempts to gain new forces to fight through voluntary mobilization have not brought sufficient results.
Law increasing penalties for Russians
On the one hand, the Kremlin hopes that, in view of the annexation, the number of volunteers in Russia will increase to “defend” the new lands – the “people’s republics”. On the other hand, it is accepted in Russia actwhich increases penalties for desertion, failure to appear for conscription, or failure to comply with the commander’s orders. For surrender, you will be sent to prison for 10 years.
The act itself, as emphasized by the Institute of Military Affairs, does not provide for a general mobilization or extension of the rules of conscription to the army. According to the ISW, for the time being, the Kremlin intends to increase the number of volunteers through “compulsory volunteering”, i.e. what the leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov he called “self-mobilization”.
The center emphasizes that in the event of an annexation, Moscow will be able to send recruits to the occupied territories, arguing that this is Russian territory. Currently, soldiers are being trained in the autumn conscription in Russia. Earlier, Putin argued that he would not send conscripts to fight in Ukraine, however media reported such cases, for which the authorities were criticized. In other words, “the annexation may create a loophole that allows for the explicit sending of conscripts into the fight.”
The TI also reminds that in the occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts, Russia is creating “volunteer” formations and will most likely force Ukrainian men to fight in these troops, just as it is already doing in the “people’s republics” in the Donbass.
New powers for foreigners
Additionally, the attention of the Institute of Eastern Studies Pride in Tuesday passed a law that accelerates the possibility of obtaining Russian for foreigners fighting in the Russian army. It will be possible after one year of service, and not – as before – after three.
At the same time, the creation of volunteer battalions by local authorities in Russia will continue, but, as the Institute of Eastern Affairs points out, with diminishing effectiveness.
In addition, Russia recruits prisoners to fight, incl. by the so-called private army – The Wagner group.
According to the ISW, Putin probably hopes that the intensification of self-mobilization and repressions against those soldiers who do not want to fight will enable Russia to occupy the rest of the Donetsk Oblast, as well as to maintain the already occupied territories in the Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts.
“He is wrong. There are neither resources nor time to generate effective resources for combat” – assess the analysts. According to them, Putin, however, will wait and, if successful, may decide to escalate. However, if the plan fails, he will find a scapegoat whom he will blame. And the most likely candidate is minister defense Sergey Shoygu.