An intelligence expert said that Russia may have indicated its intent to stop the invasion of Ukraine, and integrate the Kherson region. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, told journalists that Kherson residents must decide for their own whether to “appeal for integration of the region into Russia territory,” according TASS.
Peskov was unwilling to discuss the possibility of a referendum. He stated that he had “stated what i wanted to state”, but Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA officer, argued that Moscow would proceed with a referendum to give “legal justification” for Russia’s integration of Kherson.
Koffler, the author of “Putin’s Playbook Russia’s Secret Plan To Defeat America,” believes that integrating Kherson would suffice for Putin to claim he has achieved his goal for the current stage of the invasion. Moscow continues to call it a “special operation in Ukraine”.
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, stated that the “special operation” would end West’s efforts to “promote unipolarity,” which Lavrov defined to be “attempts against international law.”
Lavrov reiterated the same talking points Moscow used since the invasion began. He claimed that Russia invaded to protect the Donetsk, Luhansk peoples republics from “the Kyiv neo Nazi regime” and to ensure that “the West will never create a military threat to security of Russia from the territory in Ukraine.”
Koffler stated that this was the first time since February 24th, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Russia would have the Kherson region as its access point to South Ukraine, and a land bridge to Crimea. Russia could secure this access by securing the mouth of Dnieper River. This river, which runs through Ukraine, provides access to the entire length of the country.
Koffler stated that Putin was likely to consider cutting his losses and ending this operation, after realizing he cannot win the war.