Putin may announce annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories on May 9 — Interior Ministry

6 May, 02:58 PM
Protesters against Russia's war in Ukraine pass by a picture of dictator Vladimir Putin at an anti-war exhibition near the Russian embassy in Bucharest, Romania. April 30, 2022 (Photo:Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS)

Protesters against Russia's war in Ukraine pass by a picture of dictator Vladimir Putin at an anti-war exhibition near the Russian embassy in Bucharest, Romania. April 30, 2022 (Photo:Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may announce the annexation of the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts on May 9, Adviser to the Interior Minister Vadym Denysenko said on Ukrainian national television on May 6.

Denysenko noted said during the last week the Russian occupiers were unable to progress on any fronts and "are looking for at least some opportunities to catch up and try to demonstrate their ‘victories.’”

He said the large-scale missile strikes on the territory of Ukraine in the previous days are connected with this, and the “general hysteria gripping the Kremlin.”

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“There are now two parties in the Kremlin: one says that the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, and even Kherson oblasts and the occupied territories in Zaporizhzhia should be announced by May 9 (none of the oblasts is completely occupied — ed.),” Denysenko said.

“The other party says that if the annexation goes ahead, Moscow will simply have no leeway for future negotiations. I think it will be decided in the coming days whether Putin will make a statement."

Earlier, U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE Michael Carpenter, citing U.S. intelligence sources, said that by mid-May Russia will try to annex the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts.

Russia-focused outlet Meduza, citing sources close to the Kremlin, also wrote that militants from the pseudo-republics of Luhansk and Donetsk could hold referendums in mid-May on the illegal annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which are partially occupied by Russia.

Meduza's sources also claimed that a pseudo-referendum in the partially occupied Kherson Oblast on the creation of the so-called "People's Republic of Kherson", which could also be "annexed" by Russia in the future, might also take place on these dates.

Earlier, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate under the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with NV that Russia is preparing to announce a full mobilization on May 9.

CNN quoted unnamed U.S. and Western officials as saying that on May 9, Putin could officially declare war on Ukraine instead of his so-called "special military operation" – as Russia currently terms its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated earlier that Ukraine would withdraw from negotiations with Russia if the occupiers held pseudo-referendums in the territories temporarily occupied by them, in particular in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts.

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 6

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