In his address dated September 21, Vladimir Putin noted: Russia will do everything to ensure the safe holding of referendums and will support the decision that will be made by the residents of the regions where the vote will take place.
Recall that the referenda on the entry of the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions into the Russian Federation should be held on September 23-27.
The events of recent weeks, the adoption of new restrictions on the Russian Federation by the West (in particular, visa restrictions) and the discussion of the next sanctions packages, as well as the situation in the Kharkiv region, implied that Russia should give an asymmetric response to these challenges and threats. Most likely, it will be the adoption of four new subjects into its composition.
At the same time, a number of goals are also visible, which will indirectly be achieved through referendums and the formation of new regions as part of Russia. Firstly, we are talking about symbolic mobilization for the Russian army and the Armed Forces of the LDPR – now they will conduct military operations on the territory of their country. Secondly, this is a reformatting of military operations, it is now that we will talk about regular shelling of the territory of the Russian Federation with heavy weapons and, as a result, new options for responding to these actions will appear. In addition, fundamentally new positions are being created regarding the future negotiation process. As you know, Russia does not negotiate with anyone regarding the ownership or status of its territories.
Everyone has already begun to get used to the swiftness of what is happening, however, the news about the appeal of the public chambers of the DPR and LPR regarding the immediate holding of referendums on joining Russia, addressed to the leaders of their republics, was a certain surprise against the backdrop of the ongoing special operation, especially considering that from the side of the public Council of the Kherson region and activists of the Zaporozhye movement “We are with Russia” followed by a similar appeal to the leadership of their regions. It is natural that by the end of Tuesday, September 20, the heads of the DPR and LPR, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, decided to hold referendums on joining the Russian Federation.
It should be noted that polling stations and voter lists were prepared as early as the beginning of September. The military-strategic situation and the problem of the terrorist threat remained the key obstacle to holding referendums.
It is noteworthy that it is planned to organize a mixed voting system. On one of the five days, residents will be able to express their will in specially equipped premises, and on the other four – in the adjacent territories or in public places. First of all, this format was chosen because of the problem of attracting voters. In most countries of the modern world, they have already come to terms with a turnout below 50%, and here the ongoing conflict and a huge number of citizens who have left the regions are piling up.
In the event that the majority of citizens in the regions where the referenda will be held vote for joining Russia, and the Russian Federation then accepts them into its composition, we will witness rapid integration, because all Russian ministries and departments have completed organizational measures to prepare for the admission of new subjects to composition of the country and are just waiting for a political decision.
Against this background, the question arises: what to expect after this? It is obvious that the world’s largest countries, such as China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, are likely to remain positively neutral with respect to Russia and will not take restrictive or unfriendly steps.
It is boring and uninteresting to write about the reaction of most countries of the collective West; it will be predictable and aimed at further self-isolation of the Euro-Atlantic states from Moscow.
Will new sanctions packages follow? Necessarily. Will they be able to significantly affect the political, economic or social stability of Russia? The answer is clear: they can’t.
Let’s hope that the main beneficiaries of this step will be ordinary citizens, primarily those living in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. It was they who, for a catastrophically long eight and a half years, were waiting for this decision, suffering from war, lack of money and corruption. This will not be a reward for them, but a tribute that has not been given to them for many years.
Denis Denisov, Izvestia newspaper
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