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Map of Ukraine — An explanation of Putin’s possible next steps in the breakaway regions

After the President of Russia Vladimir PutinMoscow’s announcement will recognize the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR), questions surrounding how much territory this applies in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s parliament, or Duma, on Tuesday voted to recognize the breakaway republics in the Donbass region, where troops have been fighting forces led by Kyiv since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. 2014.

But how much territory in the breakaway republics Russia will recognize as independent is a key factor in determining whether war breaks out as the separatist-controlled Luhansk and Donetsk regions are about 1 /3.

Map of Ukraine showing breakaway regions
This map shows occupied areas (stripes) with southern and eastern regions of Ukraine.

Before the Duma vote there were conflicting messages from other Russian political figures. Vladimir KolokoltsevRussia’s Interior Minister said Moscow could recognize the separatists’ “historic borders” from 2014. He said this would include the entire Donbass region before they were “occupied” by Ukraine, according to the firm. believe Tass.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Moscow would recognize the breakaway republics “within the borders they claim to be.” Further emphasized by reporters, Peskov did not elaborate on other details.

Putin’s decrees and treaties, which recognize breakaway republics and allow Moscow to send troops to the DPR and LPR, do not define the separatists’ borders.

“Neither (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov nor Peskov know what Putin’s plans are,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of analytics firm R.Politik.

“Putin is not interested in just recognizing small territories, he is just trying to buy time to wait for the Russian army to fight,” she said. Newsweek.

Map of territorial disputes of Ukraine
Map provided by Getty showing disputed areas in Ukraine. Moscow has recognized the independence of the two people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Getty

She added: “We see that Russia is concentrating its military forces around Ukraine, and now that they have entered Ukraine, we can expect that they will extend beyond the current borders of the republics. secession peace.

Mark Webber, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, UK, says that the next possible step is for the breakaway republics to call on the Kremlin to unify with Russia.

“The Duma approved this and Putin signed it. Another piece of territory was later lost to Ukraine,” he said. Newsweek“of course, the situation here is much worse as the process includes all of Donetsk and Luhansk.”

“Then Russia will have an excuse to take these lands from Ukraine by force,” he added.

UK map showing "possible axis of invasion"
Britain’s Defense Army released this map on Thursday which it says shows “Putin’s possible axis of aggression.”
UK Government

Meanwhile, the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, suggested the border issue would be resolved later. “I will not go too far and will proceed in stages,” he told Russia 24 TV news channel.

He added: “Now we have something to start cooperation with within a recognized framework with the Russian Federation, and then the situation will turn out as tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will dictate.

Exactly what that would be, few other than Putin know.

Ukrainian soldiers
A soldier of the Ukrainian Military Forces in the town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, on the frontline in eastern Ukraine with Russian-backed separatists on February 21, 2022. Russia’s recognition of two breakaway regions in Ukraine raised the specter of war.
Aleksey Filippov / Getty

https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-map-breakaway-regions-putin-next-move-donetsk-luhansk-explained-1681383 Map of Ukraine — An explanation of Putin’s possible next steps in the breakaway regions

Adam Bradshaw

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