Vladimir Putin’s speech to the nation will be staged today, 21 Septemberbetween 9 and the 10 Moscow time. That is “when the West is awake,” according to what the account wrote Telegram from Forbes Russia citing Kremlin sources. But the Tsar’s plan is clear. And it starts from the referendum that from 23 to 27 September they will call the Ukrainian populations of Lugansk, Donetsk and Cherson to vote for the annexation to Russia. To get to change skin to the «Special Operation» launched on 24 February. And to mask the military failures. With an eye to the Russian doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. Which provides for the use of the atomic bomb only in the case of aggression against Moscow (or its allies) through mass destruction weapons or with conventional weapons that threaten “the existence of the state, but also the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country”.
The Tsar’s speech
The risk is therefore that ofatomic escalation. By annexing the regions of Ukraine, Russia could then consider the Ukrainian counter-offensives as attacks on their own territory. As indeed the former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev explained on Telegram: «The invasion of the territory of Russia is a crime that allows the use of all self-defense forces. This is why referendums are so feared in Kiev and in the West and must be held ». And as the political scientist T explained yesterdayatiana Stanovaya to the Moscow Times: «All this talk of immediate referendums is an absolutely unequivocal ultimatum from Russia to Ukraine and the West. To guarantee “victory” – Putin is ready to immediately hold referendums to obtain the right (he thinks) to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory“.
But this decision is also an admission of weakness. As the Corriere della Sera, in the intentions of the Kremlin the referendums should have been the culminating phase of the Special Operation. And the prospect was that it would all end as with the Crimea. Great protests, sanctions but in the end the peninsula remained in the hands of Moscow. But with the Ukrainian counter-offensive everything changed. And the plan received a significant acceleration. Now the problem is not political but military. Because the weapons coming from the West have enabled Kiev to take back a few thousand square kilometers of territory. And the fear of the Russians is that it doesn’t end there.
The Russification of the Occupied Territories
The referendum now serves the Kremlin to “Russify” the occupied territories. And to relaunch the threat of nuclear war against NATO and anyone who helps Ukraine. The same Putin he recalled that the USSR theorized the use of the atomic bomb in case of threats to its territory. As the Russian youtuber and expert on politics and war explains Ivan Yakovina to the newspaper: «He is afraid of losing. And changing the rules of this war is a chance to close the game as soon as possible ». According to this perspective, after the vote, the Tsar «will immediately say that the military operation is over, that he has” liberated “the lands he wanted, that there is a new border and peace can be made. Naturally Ukraine will say no. These referendums are unacceptable. And the war will get even harder ».
And as the German Chancellor Olaf Sholz said to the UN General Assembly: «Putin has only one goal, to occupy Ukraine, this is pure and simple imperialism. The return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe but for the international order. If we want this war to end we must not be indifferent to how it ends. We will not accept a peace dictated by Moscow. We will not accept an annexation referendum ».
Read on on Open