Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine have made announcements that indicates an imminent move to join the Russian Federation. The decision is an aftermath of the 6month+ special military operations by Russia in the that liberated most of the Donbass region from a possible “genocide” by the Zelensky led Ukrainian government.
The Donbass region may be betting that a formal annexation would help halt the unprecedented attacks on ordinary civilians. The urgency for the referendum comes amidst the continued shelling of civilian settlements by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). A few days ago, the Donetsk area was the target of a major attack with several deadly casualties.
The move is yet to be publicly endorsed by Vladimir Putin. However, there are indications Moscow will accept the poll as indicated by the body language of senior Russian officials and the former president Dmitry Medvedev.
After months of expectations, the AFU executed a large scale counteroffensive and reclaimed portions of territory in the Kharkiv region, although experts are of the opinion that the Ukrainian military lacks the capacity to sustain such efforts. War analysts believe it’s a matter of time before Russia hits back or may outrightly upgrade their military operation to a full scale war.