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Russia May Delay Annexation Moves as Ukraine Invasion Progress Slows

  • Referendums denounced as sham would be symbols of Kremlin grip
  • Ukrainian resistance has stalled Russian military advance
Ukrainian infantrymen and tank crews take part in a training exercise near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine on May 9, 2022.
Ukrainian infantrymen and tank crews take part in a training exercise near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine on May 9, 2022.Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

The Kremlin is considering the possibility of putting off votes to annex territories it’s taken in southern and eastern Ukraine as its military advances in the regions have stalled, a potential setback to Russia’s drive to cement its gains.

The referendums, originally targeted for next month, may be held as late as December or January because Russian troops haven’t yet been able to take full control of the areas the Kremlin seeks to claim as its own, according to people familiar with the discussions. The possibility of a delay was first reported Thursday by the Meduza news website.