Kremlin unsure about which Ukrainian territories Russia has officially annexed — ISW
The Kremlin is still not entirely sure about which Ukrainian territories are officially annexed, causing confusion between the Russian government and occupation authorities
This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
On September 30, 2022, Russian leader Vladimir Putin delivered a speech commemorating the "day of reunification" of the occupied Ukrainian regions by Russia. In his speech, he reiterated the rhetoric about referendums not recognized internationally, blamed the West for the Ukraine conflict, and emphasized unity between Russia and the occupied regions.
During this time, Mykhail Razvozhaev, the self-proclaimed governor of Sevastopol, initially published a map depicting Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson as part of Russia. However, he later replaced the map to exclude Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, instead including Kakhovka, Luhansk, Donetsk, and Melitopol.
Additionally, the Russian-installed administration of the Kherson region published a map showing Russian territory extending roughly to the current front line in the four annexed regions.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, known for nationalist and extremist views, ambiguously stated that the war in Ukraine would continue until "originally Russian territories were liberated."
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) concluded that “Medvedev’s unclear statement and occupation officials’ disparate maps indicate that the Kremlin has yet to clarify what territories it claims to have annexed or intends to annex.”
Regarding the annexation of Ukrainian territories
On September 20, 2022, the "public councils" of the occupied Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region decided to hold "referendums" on joining the Russian Federation. Subsequently, the terrorist organizations “LPR” and “DPR” also announced plans for pseudo-referendums.
All of these "referendums" occurred from September 23 to 27.
On the evening of September 30, Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions as "independent territories," paving the way for their annexation. On the same day, he signed "agreements" for the "incorporation into Russia" of the self-proclaimed “LPR” and “DPR”, as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
Putin announces signing of agreements on "incorporating into Russia" the terrorist "DPR" and "LPR", Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions
On September 28, 2023, Russian leader Vladimir Putin established September 30 as the "day of reunification" between the Russian Federation and the occupied Ukrainian territories, commemorating the signing of pseudo-agreements for the inclusion of the “LPR”, “DPR”, Kherson region, and Zaporizhia region into Russia.