Declaring Melitopol ‘capital’ of Zaporizhzhya Oblast shows Russia unable to seize key targets

19 March, 01:06 PM
Melitopol (Photo:Іван Федоров/Telegram)

Melitopol (Photo:Іван Федоров/Telegram)

By declaring Melitopol to be the capital of Ukraine’s partially Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya Oblast, Russia is showing it lack confidence it can capture top targets in Ukraine, the UK’s Defense Intelligence wrote in its summary on Twitter on March 19.

The Russian-installed head of the oblast, Yevgeny Balitsky, said that this was a temporary measure until the city of Zaporizhzhya is captured by Russia.

Zaporizhzhya is one of the four Ukraine oblasts Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed to the Russian Federation on Sept. 30, 2022, the UK agency noted.

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“Russia has never occupied the city of Zaporizhzhya, a major industrial center of 700,000 people, which is approximately 35 kilometers from the current front line,” the report said.

The UK Ministry of Defense added that “the quiet declaration of an alternative capital is likely tacit acknowledgement within the Russian system that its forces are highly unlikely to seize previously planned major objectives in the near future.”

From Sept. 23 to 27, 2022, the Russian invasion forces staged simulated referendums in the Russian-occupied parts of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya oblasts of Ukraine. None of these regions are under the full control of Russia.

On Sept. 30, the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed “agreements” with the leaders of the the sham republics the Kremlin set up in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, and with collaborators from the Russian-occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts on the annexation of the captured territories of Ukraine.

Like the earlier claimed annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, only a few rogue and pariah states have accepted the Kremlin’s annexation claims.

In fact, according to international law, the territories Russia falsely claims to have annexed remain Ukrainian territory and have the legal status of being under Russian military occupation.

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