Referendums Are the Badly Needed Assurance to Pro-Russians After Debacle at Kharkov

Unlike its fanboys, the Kremlin decided to treat the Ukrainian offensive as a massive credibility loss and wake-up call

Russians of Zaporozhye demand assurances they won’t be left to the wolves like the Russians of Kharkov

This Tuesday referendums on joining Russia were announced for Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye. Four days of voting from the 23rd through 27th are foreseen.

Referendums in wartime (under shells), for regions Russia doesn’t even fully control, with announcements made just 3 days ahead. — It’s safe to say it’s not a great look.

The most comical situation is the one in Zaporozhye. Russia doesn’t even hold Zaporozhye city that is home to 0.8 million of the region’s 1.6 million inhabitants. Russia controls under 50% of the region’s inhabitants but is organizing a “referendum” to transfer the region from Kiev to Moscow.

They’re not low-IQ in Moscow. If we can see that this isn’t a good look, then so can they.

In fact, it’s such a bad look that Moscow has spent 7 months trying to avoid it. The original intent was to first extend control over the entirety of Donetsk and Lugansk, and only then have the rubber-stamp referenda, as would have made far more sense.*

Yet they’re going ahead now, all of a sudden, and at a break-neck pace (just three days from announcement to voting). Why is that?

The reason is that it came down to either start doing things with the proper intensity, or slowly lose the war. The reason is that the Kremlin could no longer maintain the illusion (particularly to itself) that the war was on a proper track.

The war in the parameters before September 20th had exhausted itself, was on the back foot, and was probably headed for a defeat in the long-run, but was certainly headed for the destruction of Russia’s professional Ground Army — not so much on the battlefield, but through a combination of problems with burnout, retention and recruitment.

Far from the assertions of the 5D Kremlin Fan Club Boys that the shock success of Ukraine’s Kharkov offensive “did not matter”, the conclusion in the Kremlin was the precise opposite. Unlike its fanboys, the Kremlin opted to treat the Ukrainian offensive as a massive wake-up call, and reason to do what it had been desperately resisting for 7 months.

It was certainly a wake-up call for any pro-Russians in the territories Moscow had captured since February 24th. Moscow waltzed into Kharkov in February-March, started putting up “Russian World, One People” billboards, handing out citizenships, and promising it was here forever, then ran away in a matter of just 5 days. This after they had made “We do not leave ours behind” the official motto of the SMO.

Put up “Odin Narod!” signs then hang the locals out to dry — typical Kremlinboomer handiwork

After this who would ever be dumb enough to stick out his neck for Russia again?

After the Kharkov debacle the pro-Russians needed assurances that Kremlins are actually serious and not a bunch of feckless traitors to the Russkiy Mir as it was starting to look. The annexation to Russia that will follow the referenda is that badly needed assurance.

Another thing annexations will do is make conscripts deployable.

Officially Russia insists that conscripts will still not be deployed to “the area of SMO”. But just a week ago Peskov was also still insisting that there would be no mobilization either. Thus all Kremlin utterances must be treated as being of the “here today, gone tomorrow” variety.

The fact is that proclaiming the four regions Russian soil makes conscripts immediately deployable to them, without even having to proclaim a state of war.

Moreover the mobilization decree allows the state to mobilize conscripts as soon as they are discharged and become “former servicemen”, so it would be rather illogical if you could not be deployed while still in uniform but would become deployable immediately upon discharge.

(Possibly the assurances that conscripts will not be deployed are maintained for now so as not to make the fall draft any harder than it needs to be.)

Anyway, up until now the Russkiy Mir pitch Moscow has had been a very unappealing one. Not because there aren’t willing takers in principle — there are. But because Kremlin-s half-heartedness made it a two-tier system where pro-Russians outside Russia’s borders got a rotten deal.

The members of this Russkiy Mir in Kharkov, Kherson and Zaporozhye had no real security guarantees, which is why the pro-Russians of Kharkov are now refugees. Those in DLPR had security guarantees but they were also made to bear disproportionate sacrifices to repay them.

While trained conscripts already in the military from Crimea and Moscow were not sent to war, DLPR was made to carry out a general mobilization and send untrained 50-somethings off to war.

Perhaps these referendums (as sketchy as they are) can start to make Russkiy Mir a more egalitarian and just system, not one where your security and rights depend on your usefulness to the electoral prospects of the shysters of United Russia.

  1. Pink Unicorne says

    i think the fate of Eurasian continent is largely sealed at this stage. this war has always been more entertainment than actual fighting. China is (very recently) in despair because it just realized it’s got no future, will probably attempt war in this decade, the empire will make sure the entire Western Pacific & Middle East burn in response. Russia & Europe will devolve to a loose constellation of city states starting from circa 2040~2050.

  2. Blackledge says

    Referendums and mobilization would have been better several months ago, or better still years ago. How will they improve the chances for Russian victory? The leadership of the Russian Armed Forces has not been improved at all, and the cast of incompetents at the top of RMOD are all still secure in their jobs. The prisoner swap in which the various mercenaries and the leadership of Azov escaped justice suggests to me that Putin and his circle can’t or won’t keep their promises to the suffering people of the eastern Ukraine. “All mercenaries will be put on trial for their crimes” turned out to be another official lie.

    Of course, if I post any of the above on any other site but this one, the 5D hivemind will all sing in chorus “it’s worth it to get our men, back,” moving the goalposts to rationalize Kremlin failure and betrayal. Either that, or they’ll simply throw vulgar ad hominem insults at me just as they do to Marko.

    1. TZVI says

      Azov commanders just got a free vacation in Turkiye until the end of the war.

      To put into Hip Hop terms “D@nm if feels good to be a Gangtsta”.

      At least Putin an Co. traded live for live, unlike Menachem Begin.

  3. Abraham Lincoln says

    What a joke you are pro Zio racist Jewish supremacist Judeo Nazi empire. Russia is partially mobilizing because Zio Nazi NATO has gotten directly involved in the conflict. Russia is no longer fighting just Ukraine.

    See realistic unbiased view of USA military expert

    New stakes of the war? On Russian mobilization and referendums in Ukraine

    1. Dianthus says

      Please shut up 5D fan boy with no clue about reality…

      thank you

  4. Jonathan says

    It really is that simple. It’s a NATO war. Hence, mobilization. But count on this site to consistently disregard Occam’s Razor.

    This is also a gift to Russia. Putin honestly attempted to limit the SMO to the Donetsk region and gave Ukraine every way out. The U.S. wanted otherwise. Now Russia can expand its holdings and do so looking squeaky clean, holding referendums and responding to attacks in those regions as direct attacks on the Russian Federation.

    Very simple. Nothing complicated about it.

    1. TZVI says

      You don’t give the other side a “way out” by sacrificing your own troops.

    2. Traveller says

      I agree with you. Nato (Usa + vassal states really) has provoked all this, and when faced with failure, they simply doubled down and gave Russia free hand to take most of ukraine.

      Frankly, I dont see how Nato can survive this, soon to be, total debacle.
      At best, nato will serve as internal militarized police, for quelling riots in nato provinces, which are currently crumbling under the so called Anti-Russia sanctions.

      In a two year time, Eu citizens will be escaping their miserable failed states and emigrate to Russia for better life. How things change…

    3. Arraya says

      Russia made a mistake because she is just to trusting lol Okay

  5. Noragami says

    I am sure that this new policy heralds a time of utopian peace and prosperity for all Russians. /s

  6. Kieran says

    if referendum was held over all territories of Ukraine, more than half would split in favor of Russia. Who wants to be under the thumb of the most corrupt government run by Nazis and stooge to US policy dictates much like the rest of EU. Just look at their fate now. where has kowtowing to Uncle Sam brought them: De industrialization, inflation, permanent energy deficient, and very, very cold

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