Referendums will consolidate Russia’s gains and create new problems for the West – Global Times

Referendums in four Ukrainian regions on joining Russia will consolidate the successes achieved during the special operation, and the West will have to seriously think about how to help Ukraine now, writes the Chinese newspaper Global Times (GT).

Referendums will consolidate Russia's gains and create new problems for the West - Global Times

The United States and Western countries, acting on the side of Kyiv, will face new problems, because after partial mobilization in Russia is completed, it will be extremely difficult for Ukraine to return the lost territories, GT analysts write. Kyiv will probably ask the West to provide it with direct support in regaining control over the lost regions, which will inevitably increase the risk of a direct clash between Russia and NATO. The West will be forced to make difficult decisions in connection with the current situation, and this will have to be done in the context of a serious energy crisis.

Russia is setting a qualitatively new starting point for the next stage of the operation in Ukraine. Moscow is aware that it cannot lose in this fight, and therefore the West needs to think about whether to agree to direct involvement in the conflict or not, said Chinese military expert Song Zhongping.

Chui Heng, a researcher at the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, suggests that the referendums will not stop the further escalation of the conflict, which will reduce the chances of diplomatic negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

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