General mobilization excuse?: Donetsk and Luhansk want to quickly join Russia

General mobilization excuse?: Donetsk and Luhansk want to quickly join Russia

General mobilization excuse?
Donetsk and Luhansk want to join Russia soon

The self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk have been pushing for their union with Russia for years. While Moscow initially reacted sparingly, now its willingness to join has been heard. According to the Ukrainian side, the Kremlin now has good reasons for this.

In the face of advancing Ukrainian troops, a campaign for rapid entry into Russia begins in the Moscow-backed separatist areas of Luhansk and Donetsk. In the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, a body called the “Citizens’ Chamber” appealed to the local leadership to hold a referendum on the Anschluss soon. A little later, in the People’s Republic of Donetsk, the Citizens’ Chamber complied with the same request, the Russian news agency Tass reported. The head of the Russian-appointed administration, Kirill Stremusov, said people in the Chersonese region were also calling for a referendum.

Preparations for such a referendum have been underway for some time in separatist republics and territories conquered by Russia. At Cherson, they were initially postponed until 4 November due to the Ukrainian advance. It is still too early to talk about the date, said Alexei Karjakin, president of the Luhansk Civic Chamber, on Russian television.

The background of the campaign is unclear. The People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk have been controlled since 2014 on a much smaller scale than Moscow. However, so far Moscow has reacted reluctantly to pressure to join Russia. This time, there was support from the Russian parliament for wanting to join. “It must happen quickly, it is the will of the people,” said Viktor Vodolatsky, Duma deputy of the Kremlin’s United Russia party. The referendum should take place before late autumn.

The head of the Ukrainian administration for Luhansk, Serhi Hajdaj, suspected that the occupation of the Moscow regions would lead to a general mobilization. According to Moscow, the Ukrainian recapture of Donetsk and Luhansk would then be an attack on Russian territory, he told Radio Svoboda.

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