The Kremlin directly controls the occupied regions of Ukraine during the war – Kommersant
The Kremlin maintains direct control over the four Ukrainian regions that Moscow claims as its own territory amid ongoing fighting and a lack of established borders, Russian daily Kommersant reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources in the presidential administration.
Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions are not included in any of Russia’s eight federal districts and do not have their own presidential envoy, according to the publication.
Citing two Kremlin sources, Kommersant said Moscow could integrate the partially occupied territories into Russia’s regional administrative system either after regional elections this fall or whenever Moscow declares an end to what it calls its “military operation.” special” in Ukraine.
The Kremlin also failed to signal to Moscow-controlled authorities in those areas to lay the groundwork for their incorporation, Kommersant quoted two unnamed people close to the leaders of two unidentified occupied Ukrainian territories.
The issue of forming federal districts could gain relevance “in the process of stabilization and full liberation of these territories”, according to Viktor Vodolatskyi, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, which oversees the region. from Luhansk.
“The presidential administration took over the functions of the federal district and successfully coped with the task,” Kommersant said citing Vodolatskyi.
The captured territories could be integrated into Russia’s regional structure after parliamentary elections on September 10, 2023, said State Duma lawmaker Igor Kastukevich, who oversees the Kherson region.
Moscow claimed the four Ukrainian regions were legally Russian territory after a series of rushed referendums in September 2022 that were widely condemned as a sham by the international community.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the four Ukrainian regions into the law in October.
Russian media reported ahead of the moves that the four captured Ukrainian regions could be part of the Crimean Federal District, which Moscow illegally annexed to Ukraine in 2014.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that the administration was “studying various options” for integrating Ukrainian regions into Russia’s regional administrative hierarchy.