Ukraine War, May 18, 2022: Putin’s long-term plans in South are inconsistent with ceasefire and peace settlement

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Pavel Lokshin und Stefanie Bolzen, “Hier versucht Putin, die Weltkarte zu verändern; Das von Russland besetzte Cherson im Süden der Ukraine spielt eine besondere Rolle in Putins Strategie: Das an die Krim grenzende Gebiet soll ein Teil Russlands werden. Das hätte drastische Konsequenzen für die Menschen dort – und geopolitisch für die ganze Region und Europa,” Die Welt, den 18. Mai 2022;

Commentary

Lokshin and Bolzen describe in detail the permanent changes that are underway in Russian-occupied Kherson and the surrounding province to permanently incorporate the city and the area into the Russian Federation.

From these details and statements made by Russian officials, it clearly appears that Vladimir Putin plans to annex the Kherson region in Southern Ukraine to be part of Russia.

The strategy seems to be to annex the whole provinces or regions of Donetsk and Luhansk (before the war, “separatists” occupied only about a third of each region), and to annex the Kherson region bordering the Crimea. With these actions, Putin will have succeeded in “annexing” the Crimea and the so-called “land-bridge” uniting the peninsula with Russia. Any missing pieces of the bridge, such as Mariupol, would logically be annexed as well.

The only problem is that it is all void under the U.N. Charter and international law. Such annexations will never be recognized by international organizations or the vast majority of other countries.

Until Russia gives up these newly-conquered territories, the economic sanctions imposed by the West are very unlikely to be eased or lifted.

What we will be looking at is not a “frozen conflict” that allows relations between Russia and the rest of the world to proceed on a more or less normal basis, as was the case after the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the invasions of Ukraine in 2014.

Rather, we will be looking a a permanent conflict that is “hot” not “frozen”, in the heart of Europe.

There should be no talk of a return to a “second Cold War”. This war is “hot”, militarily hot, and would seem destined to remain that way for a long time to come.

The Trenchant Observer

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See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

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