The Donbass region is prepping for a referendum starting 23rd – 27th September, 2022. Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine earlier made announcements on the conduct of referendum polls in a move to join the Russian Federation. Should the referendum polls hold and prove affirmative, the Donbass region will automatically become part of Russia after ratification by Russia’s Duma.
Upon ratification of the referendum, the special military operations will end and any attack on the region will be deemed as an assault on Russian soil, prompting the Kremlin to declare a full scale war that the rest of Ukraine and the Western governments are not ready for. As at the time of this report, there are massive troop movements on both sides of the divide; a situation many experts warn could escalate or de-escalate the whole situation.
Analysts are of the view this may be Russia’s plan all along, especially after Ukraine unilaterally refused to implement the Minsk Agreement, continued wanton shelling of civilian settlements & nuclear power plants facilities while refusing to offer any reasonable alternative means of peaceful resolution. This is even as the Zelensky government unleashed the Azov battalion or ignored their atrocities when it’s convenient.
For the last six (6) months, the Russian Forces have aided the Donbass militia with aerial and military support as they pushed to liberate their region from Vladimir Zelensky’s government. Majority of citizens from the Donbass area are Russians and have been caught in the cross fire of Zelensky’s anti-Russian sentiments.
Should the referendum scale through, there will no longer be the LPR & DPR militia; it will be a fully mobilised Russian military might against the poorly fitted Armed Forces of Ukraine whose best personnel are either dead or rendered inactive.
Although this may be looking like the final game changer of the crisis since 2014, noone is underestimating what Ukraine can or cannot do following recent developments. Also, most western governments are already ridiculing the planned exercise, calling it a “sham referendum.” But, the question remains, what will Ukraine and it’s NATO/EU backers do next once the Donbass region of Ukraine is assimilated into the Russian federation?
We will keep you posted on that as events develop.