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Russia Seeks to Annex Occupied Ukraine as Invasion Goals Shift

  • Kremlin plans referenda to absorb Donbas into its territory
  • Votes on joining Russia could be delayed as offensive stalls
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WATCH: There are reports that the Kremlin is planning referendums in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine to open the way for full annexation.Source: Bloomberg

Nearly 10 weeks into the war and with its troops making only marginal gains in Ukraine’s east, Russia is focused on cementing both military and political control over the territory it has taken so far.

The Kremlin is installing occupation governments, ordering locals to use rubles for transactions and, according to three people involved in the efforts, planning hastily organized referendums in some areas to open the way for full annexation. The people spoke on condition of anonymity given the risk of retribution discussing sensitive information. The Kremlin did not respond immediately to a request for comment.