Graffiti in the Russia-occupied territory of the Donbas proclaims: "The Donbas is Ukraine!"
In the best Putinite tradition, Russia has begun to take steps to integrate and absorb the Donbas into the Russian Federation not by some big declaration in Moscow but rather via moves taken by the governor of Russia’s adjacent Orel Oblast to form a group to promote that development.
The news agency of the oblast reports this under the title, “Russia has begun the integration of the Donbas.” But to underscore that the Kremlin is behind this action, Andrey Klychkov’s July 11 directive (below) was posted on the very same day by the official Russian government site.
Such region-to-region contacts have a long tradition in Soviet times and were typically used to tighten the binds between the republics or countries concerned. That is one reading of what the Orel governor has done; but the news agency headline and the Moscow treatment the decree received suggest a far-reaching goal, the absorption of the Donbas by Russia.
At the very least, this move suggests that Moscow is simultaneously preparing to take that step if conditions allow or putting in place the kind of cross-border linkages that would give Moscow even more influence and control should Vladimir Putin be compelled to withdraw and allow Ukraine to reabsorb the Donbas.
At the very least, this development, which likely is intended to take place below the radar screens of many, merits the closest possible attention as Putin moves forward with this new strategy for the occupied Ukrainian territory.
- Russian puppet “LNR” opens “consulate” in Sicily and other overlooked stories from Donbas
- Occupied Donbas changes phone code to Russian +7 and other neglected stories from eastern Ukraine
- Putin seized Crimea with regular army but outsourced action in Donbas
- Hot war still on in Ukraine’s Donbas, and it’s far from frozen conflict
- Poroshenko redefines Donbas fighting so Kyiv can call things by their proper names
- Ukrainian OSINT sleuths release largest existing database of evidence of Russian aggression in Ukraine
- Search Eastern Ukraine statelets “effectively controlled” by Russia – PACE resolution
- Fears of radioactive disaster as Russian proxies plan to flood nuclear test site in Donbas
- Blacksmith, legionnaire, brother of fallen Cyborg: 3 soldiers of Donbas Battalion fighting close to home
- A student from Ukraine’s Donbas who lived through war
- Will a UN peacekeeping operation finally unfold in the occupied Donbas?
- “Visitors” from Russia pushing out Donbas locals and taking over housing
- Russian participation in the war in Donbas: evidence from 2017