'Sense of urgency': US says Russia is planning to annex Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk regions

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
Washington, United States Updated: May 03, 2022, 08:58 AM(IST)

A view shows an ambulance car damaged by a military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine Photograph:( Reuters )

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Kherson, where Moscow has recently solidified its control and imposed use of its ruble currency, is another region of great interest for Moscow is also on its hit list as per the US

A senior official of the United States has said that Russia is planning to annex the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier, Lunhansk's governor Serhiy Haidai had said that Russian forces were constantly shelling all the Ukrainian-controlled cities in the region.

The US ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Michael Carpenter said that "According to the most recent reports, we believe that Russia will try to annex the 'Donetsk People's Republic' and 'Lugansk People's Republic' to Russia."

During a press conference in Washington, he told reporters, "The reports state that Russia plans to engineer referenda upon joining sometime in mid-May."

Kherson, where Moscow has recently solidified its control and imposed use of its ruble currency, is another region of great interest for Moscow is also on its hit list as per the US.

"We think the reports are highly credible. Unfortunately, we have been more right than wrong in exposing what we believe may be coming next, and so that is part of what we're trying to do here."

Also see | Donetsk and Lugansk: Ukraine's breakaway republics

The Crimea peninsula in Ukraine was annexed by Russia when Kyiv's Moscow-friendly president was driven from office by mass protests in February 2014.

Highlighting the need to act with a sense of urgency, Carpenter said "Such sham referenda, fabricated votes, will not be considered legitimate, nor will any attempts to annex additional Ukrainian territory."

Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister Taras Vysotsky said “Today, there are confirmed facts that several hundred thousand tons of grain in total were taken out of the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions.” 

Tensions have heightened in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of Moscow-backed rebel regions.

(With inputs from agencies)

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