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Russia Is Trying To Replicate The Annexation Of Crimea

Let the second annexation begin … but it won’t go down like Crimea. 

In a rehashing of the events that led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russian media are now reporting that officials in Kherson, in Ukraine’s south, are gearing up to petition the Kremlin for formal recognition as part of Russia. 

Kherson is a key city along the “land bridge” Russia hopes to form from Crimea to the Donbass region as it attempts to occupy and eventually usurp a large chunk of Ukraine. In late April, the Russians gained the upper hand here, replacing Ukrainian officials with pro-Russian officials. They even changed the currency to the ruble. This is now a military administration, with pro-Russian Ukrainian civilians in the mix. This is Russia’s attempt to prove that Kherson (like Crimea) desires to be part of the Russian Federation. But it’s easy to hold a successful referendum when half of the population has fled or been forced into Russia. Russian media is also rife with comments from “collaborators” and pro-Russian figures stating that Moscow may simply annex Kherson without bothering with a sham referendum. 

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Some analysts believe that seeing a referendum held in Kherson (or an outright annexation) would be enough of a victory for Putin to end Moscow’s “special operation”. We would caution against this view, not the…

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