Russia dreams of 'full control' of Ukraine's occupied territories: ISW explains Kremlin's maximalist goals
The Russian dictator's spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave a vague and contradictory answer to a Western media journalist when asked whether Russia was seeking to conquer more of Ukraine beyond the four partially occupied regions it illegally annexed in September 2022. He also admitted that the election of the head of the aggressor country is an "expensive bureaucracy" and Putin will be re-elected once again already with 90% support.
However, the Kremlin speaker later retracted his last statement. This was pointed out by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), explaining the Kremlin's cynical aspirations to continue significant military operations against the Ukrainian state.
Thus, in a comment to a New York Times reporter regarding Ukraine's territories, Peskov said that Russia simply wants to "control all the land" that it has already written into the constitution "as its own."
The analysts emphasized that such a direct answer of his was contradictory, vague and did not answer the journalist's initial question. After all, Russian troops have not fully occupied the four regions of Ukraine - Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk - that are officially claimed by the Russian government.
"Russian forces would have to conduct significant offensive operations to seize more than 16,000 square kilometers of land in these four regions to bring the de facto Russian-occupied territory in line with the Russian constitution, as described by Peskov," ISW pointed out the unrealistic nature of the Kremlin's plans.
It added that today Russia also temporarily occupied territory in the northeast of Kharkiv Region and in Mykolaiv Region (Kinburn Spit), but the Kremlin did not formally annex them.
So Peskov's statement implies that Russian troops should give up the temporarily occupied territories in these areas. However, the Russian government has given no indication that it plans to do so, and in fact continues offensive operations to gain more territory in Kharkiv Oblast.
"The Kremlin is likely seeking to continue significant military operations against Ukraine in order to - at the very least - seize the remaining parts of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk regions that Russian forces have not yet occupied. In addition, the Kremlin has formulated additional maximalist goals in Ukraine, given the change in the Ukrainian government and constitution," ISW explained the terrorist state's intentions.
Also, analysts drew attention to another contradictory expression of the speaker of the Russian dictator. In particular, Peskov strangely said, мол, presidential elections in Russia are "not really democracy", but rather "expensive bureaucracy". And he added that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be re-elected next year "with more than 90% of the vote." But as soon as this statement by Peskov was published, he retracted his words the same day.
As reported OBOZREVATEL, in response to the statements of the Kremlin speaker, the advisor to the head of the Office of the President Mykhailo Podolyak emphasized that there are no Ukrainian territories written into the Russian constitution. At the same time, there are only Ukrainian territories that are temporarily under occupation, so the Kremlin should say goodbye to its desire to control them.