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    Putin has a “nuclear plan” to annex the south and east of Ukraine – US analysts

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    The Russian military has not yet reached the territorial goals declared by Putin

    Putin threatens with nuclear weapons / Photo: Collage: Today

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to intend to annex the occupied south and east of Ukraine directly into the Russian Federation in the coming months. Then he will probably claim that the Russian doctrine allowing the use of nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory applies to these newly annexed territories.

    This is written by the American analytical center ISW.

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    Such actions threaten Ukraine and its partners with a nuclear attack if Ukrainian counter-offensives to liberate Russian-occupied territory continue. Putin may believe that the threat or use of nuclear weapons will restore Russia’s deterrence.

    American analysts believe that the Russian military has not yet achieved the territorial goals declared by Putin to ensure the security of all Donetsk and Luhansk regions and is unlikely to do so.

    If Putin realizes his military weakness, he is likely to rush into annexation and quickly impose a nuclear deterrent in an attempt to maintain control over the Ukrainian territory currently occupied by Russia. If Putin believes that Russian forces are capable of additional gains, he is likely to delay annexation in the hope of capturing more territory with it.

    In this case, his poor leadership and Ukrainian counter-offensives could lead to the collapse of the Russian army. Putin may also try to contain Russian attacks while mobilizing additional forces.

    Kremlin plans

    The Kremlin is likely planning to annex most of the Ukrainian territory currently occupied by Russian forces — parts of Kherson and Zaporizhia regions in the south and areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east that are controlled by Russian troops and their puppets.

    The terms of the occupation include: replacing local media with Kremlin-controlled media, installing Russian internet and communications networks, forcibly converting the local economy to the Russian ruble, kidnapping, executing and replacing local Ukrainian officials with Russian collaborators, and likely hunting down and eliminating activists and partisans.

    :

    Source: Segodnya

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