The Kremlin plans to annex the occupied territories of Ukraine and combine them into a new federal district within Russia, according to Latvia-based Russian media Meduza.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, as well as the territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions are the areas that Moscow plans to merge into a single district, three sources close to Putin’s administration said. briefing.
“The district is expected to appear after referendums on joining Russia are held in these territories,” one of the sources said. “Ukrainian territories will not join existing districts.”
Boris Rapoport, deputy head of the Presidential Administration Department for State Council Affairs, will oversee the creation of the new district, according to Meduza’s sources.
Within the Kremlin, Rapoport is known as a “crisis manager”, reports the media. He is currently working on the recruitment of personnel to work in the city administrations of the DPR and the LPR, as well as in the “civil-military administrations” of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine.
“They are looking for people who have experience working with the opposition, who can operate in a bit of an unconventional way because the tasks in the Donbass are not trivial,” a source said, according to the International Business Times.
According to the Times, Rapoport was involved in shaping Kremlin policy in the Donbass in 2014.
The official is also known for his work on the election campaigns of Kremlin-backed candidates, including that of St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov.
Officials recruited by Rapoport will be tasked with organizing referendums on joining Russia, according to Meduza, with the first date tentatively scheduled for “mid-July, if the situation at the front allows it”.
Referendums could also be held on September 11, which is Russia’s Single Vote Day, according to the outlet. Gubernatorial elections will also be held that day.
According to one of Meduza’s sources, Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR, and Leonid Pasechnik, the head of the LPR, could also lose their posts in the near future, to be replaced by Russian officials.
“There shouldn’t be any chaos in the distribution of budget funds by obscure local figures,” one of the sources said. “The money has to go in the right direction.”
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