Russian spending on the pseudo-republics of the DNR and LNR will increase and last longer than the current phase of the war, UK Defense Intelligence wrote on Twitter on Jan. 6.
The armies of the LNR and DNR – sham republics that Ukraine describes as terrorist organizations – were officially integrated into the Russian armed forces on Dec. 31, and Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin presented these formations with their battle colors during a visit to Rostov.
The agency noted that Russia had declared the DNR and LNR to be its territories after holding sham referendums in September 2022.
“However, (Russia) has discreetly controlled both since 2014, creating DNR’s 1st Army Corps and LNR’s 2nd Army Corps, and supporting them with Russian military officers,” the report said.
The status and identity of the occupied territories “still cause disagreements in the Russian system.”
“Even before the February 2022 invasion, these territories represented a significant drain on Russian finances,” the report goes on.
“Now the Kremlin has overtly committed to supporting them, they will likely constitute a large political, diplomatic and financial cost for Russia which will last wall beyond the current phase of the conflict.”