Why Putin Encouraged Sham Elections in Eastern Ukraine
The author writes that the Nov. 11 elections "in the unrecognized ‘people’s republics’ of eastern Ukraine" show that Moscow intends to "hang on to the territories." The elections gave "questionable legitimacy" to the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. The author argues that the election signals to the world that "Russia is moving on from the notion of a peacekeeping force and even from the Minsk agreements" and also suggests that the Kremlin is "leaning toward a South Ossetian scenario for eastern Ukraine." For the foreseeable future, Moscow has "no chance to trade eastern Ukraine for anything useful," meaning that Putin "must resign himself to institutionalizing the statelets and making sure people there can survive the long haul."
Read the full article at Bloomberg.
Leonid Bershidsky is a columnist for Bloomberg.
Photo by Andrew Butko shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.