NewsPutin's 2026 plot to annex Ukrainian regions: Urging calm amidst rising fears

Putin's 2026 plot to annex Ukrainian regions: Urging calm amidst rising fears

Russian army - illustrative photo
Russian army - illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images | Aleksandr Golubev

1:47 PM EST, January 7, 2024

The "Putin plan" was published by the German tabloid "Bild" in December 2023. According to this plan, by the end of 2026, Russia intends to annex the territories of three provinces belonging to Ukraine: Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv. Provincial cities are also expected to be annexed.

The Russians are said to be hopeful that Western support for Ukraine will dwindle by then, thus reducing military support. As per "Bild", by the end of 2024, Vladimir Putin plans to annex all areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. Then, they will set their sights on further territories.

All territories east of the Dnieper River are expected to be conquered within 36 months, and the River will then become the new front line, according to the German newspaper.

Imminent Russian Offensive? Ukrainians Urge Not to Panic

There has been increased media coverage of a potential Russian offensive. The reported target is the Kharkiv region. "Belsat" reports that Andriy Yusov, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense spokesperson, has implored citizens to remain calm.

Ukraine is well informed about current developments along its borders with Russia, Belarus, and other nations. We actively exchange intelligence data with our allies and are preemptively preparing responses to all known threats, said Yusov during a discussion with Radio NV.

Yusov, the intelligence spokesperson, highlighted that the spread of such disinformation aligns with the objective interests of their adversaries. However, he emphasized the need for a tempered response, urging against succumbing to panic.

Further Russian Targets

As per a recent analysis by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia appears to have its sights set on Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, with an alleged offensive scheduled to commence on January 15.

The ISW suggests that Russian forces seem well-positioned for intensifying operations towards Kupiansk in pursuit of territorial gains in strategically important regions, which the Russians aim to seize.

According to these analysts' predictions, Putin's forces plan to spend their winter in Kupiansk and Borova, approximately 22 miles from Swatove. This will ostensibly facilitate pushing Ukrainian troops from the eastern bank of the Oskol River, enabling further Russian advances along the Kupiansk-Swatove-Kreminna line.

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