White House warns Russia planning to annex components of southern Ukraine


The White House has warned that Russia is starting to roll out its plans to annex giant components of southern Ukraine by putting in proxy officers and making ready to carry stage-managed referendums.

John Kirby, head of strategic communications on the US National Security Council, mentioned on Tuesday that Moscow had began laying the groundwork for its annexation plans, which have been extensively anticipated since its troops began to realize management of the area.

Kirby advised reporters on the White House: “Russia is beginning to roll out a version of what you could call an annexation playbook — very similar to the one we saw in 2014,” referring to when the Kremlin despatched particular forces into Crimea to seize territory earlier than holding a fastidiously managed referendum on sovereignty.

“Already Russia is installing illegitimate proxy officials in the areas of Ukraine that are under its control, and we know their next moves,” he added. “First, these proxy officials will arrange sham referenda on joining Russia, then Russia will use those sham referenda as a basis to try to claim annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.”

Kirby mentioned the Kremlin had detailed plans in place to annex the cities of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in addition to your entire Donetsk and Luhansk areas. He mentioned Russia is making an attempt to arrange branches of Russian banks within the area, taking management of broadcasting towers, establishing safety providers loyal to Moscow, issuing Russian passports and forcing residents to use for Russian citizenship.

Kirby famous that the majority different international locations don’t recognise the Kremlin’s earlier annexation of Crimea.

Senior Russian officers have beforehand signalled they intend to carry votes within the areas they’ve captured on whether or not these areas ought to grow to be a part of Russia. In May, Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian president Vladimir Putin, advised reporters “the residents of Kherson should decide” whether or not to grow to be a part of Russia.

Kirby warned that if Russia pushes forward with its plans it can grow to be “even more of a global pariah” and can face further worldwide sanctions — although he didn’t specify what these can be.

Source: www.ft.com