According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Moscow has not yet decided where the boundaries of the soon-to-be-incorporated Kherson & Zaporozhye Regions will be.
On Monday, an official said, “We will continue to communicate with the population of those areas on the topic of boundaries.”
Last month, voters in the two regions of Ukraine decided to secede from Kiev and approach Russia with a request to join the latter’s territory. The Ukrainian military still has authority over a portion of these territories, though.
Last week, President Vladimir Putin issued orders officially recognizing the independence of the two territories, and with that arose the question of the boundary between them. The papers lacked any mention of the regions’ boundaries. Peskov, when pressed by reporters for details, said he would provide an explanation “later.”
The issue is further complicated by the fact of Russian soldiers occupy a tiny portion of the Nikolaev Region of Ukraine, which borders the Kherson Region. Kherson’s leader, Vladimir Saldo, said last week that the territory will be annexed by Russia.
The unity treaties with the two areas and the Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics are expected to be ratified by the Russian parliament this week.
According to Peskov, the latter two regions, which Russia recognized as autonomous in February, are located “in the 2014 boundaries.”
After that, Russian forces and Donbass militias took control of much of the contested territory.
Kiev has called the referendums that led up to the accession a “sham,” and it has reaffirmed its commitment to defeating Russia militarily and driving its soldiers off any areas it claims as Ukrainian. Those in power in Moscow defended the vote as an appropriate expression of individual freedom.
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