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15 August, 12:14 PM

Russia will likely see failure to seize Donetsk Oblast as setback for its objectives in Ukraine, says UK intel

The Kremlin will likely see the military’s failure to occupy the entirety of Donetsk Oblast thus far as a setback for its maximalist objectives in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence update on Twitter on Aug. 15.

According to the ministry’s assessment, on Aug. 11, 2022, Russian media reported that Denis Pushilin, head of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) – a sham statelet set up by Moscow in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast in 2014 – had said that the date of a referendum on the “DPR” joining Russia will be announced after the “DPR’s complete liberation.”

Previously, in June 2022, investigative journalists published evidence of the existence of a “DPR” planning strategy for running such a referendum and for ensuring that at least 70% of votes were in favor of joining Russia.

“It is likely that Russia is in the advanced planning stages of holding a referendum, though it is unclear if the final decision to go ahead with a vote has yet been taken,” the ministry said.

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