Ukraine Update 27 September 2022: Referendums And Pipelines

The referendums held in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine have drawn to a close and the votes tallied. Russian-installed election officials in all four regions report overwhelming majorities in favor of becoming part of Russia. The referendums took place in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Combined, these four areas represent fifteen percent of Ukrainian territory. Now, their days of belonging to Ukraine are numbered.

As expected, the referendum results have prompted Russia to move rapidly to annex these regions. Annexation is expected by the end of the week. From that point forward, in the view of the Kremlin, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia will become sovereign Russian soil. Putin will address Russia’s parliament on the subject on Friday and Russian lawmakers could consider annexation legislation as early as next Monday.

Today, Russia has swung back to playing the nuclear threat card, intending to deter Ukraine from moving to retake the territories after the annexation becomes official. As sovereign Russian soil, the territories will be placed under the protection of the entire Russian military arsenal including nuclear weapons. Moscow is also hoping to influence the tenor of the war and warn off the United States and Europe from continuing to contribute significant military and other material support to Ukraine as the war drags on. It is apparent the referendum and coming annexation, coupled with the latest nuclear threats from Moscow appear primed to move the war into a new, potentially more dangerous phase.

Then there is the matter of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline ruptures beneath the Baltic Sea on Monday. It is becoming apparent the leaks were deliberate, which leads to the question of who would be responsible for an act of sabotage on the pipelines. That subject will be discussed in tomorrow’s post.

3 thoughts on “Ukraine Update 27 September 2022: Referendums And Pipelines

  1. I think we can rule out the European countries. Virtually all of them have a rather strong disincentive to physically cripple the pipelines, especially since there is no real alternative that would allow Europe to function normally.

    That leaves, in order of probability, eco-terrorists, Red China, a Middle Eastern country, the US, and Sweden.

      • Sweden is rather independent of energy from both Russia and Europe, so they’re not overly affected if Nord Stream never comes back online. They don’t have far to go to get to the pipelines.

        I’ve seen a couple of explanations of why Russia is the number one suspect. I’ll expand on that in the other post.

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