As expected, the attendance at the "referendum" in the occupied regions was about 99%, and the decision to join Russia was also almost unanimous. In the coming days, the corresponding treaties will probably be signed and ratified.
It creates a lot of questions. If Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions will become parts of Russia, then it will turn out that they are no longer in the zone of the so-called special military operation, which, according to the definition of this special operation, is only conducted on the territory of Ukraine.
Does this mean that conscripts will now be sent to the territory of the occupied regions as well? Will the mobilized soldiers who will now go to the front line earn the promised high salary (by Russian standards) or will it be the standard salary of contract servicemen in Russia (30-40 thousand rubles instead of ~200 thousand rubles)?
Our team does not expect any significant developments before September 30 or October 1, when the results of the sham referendums may be announced and travel restrictions may be introduced in Russia. Also, we still do not believe in the feasibility of using even tactical nuclear weapons. The potential political backlash, up to US or European cruise missile strikes against Russian facilities in the occupied territories, far outweigh the supposed benefits of a nuclear strike.
There has been a sizable advance of Ukrainian troops near Lyman. The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the settlements of Novoselivka, Ridkodub, Katerynivka, Kolodyazi and Zelena Dolyna, getting closer and closer to the Lyman encirclement.
The pro-Russian Telegram channel “Rybar” claimed that Ukrainian troops have crossed Siversky Donets near Bilohorivka (in the Luhansk region) and were advancing towards Torske and Kreminna. There is no confirmation about this yet.
Another sign of the front in Lyman beginning to crumble is that the Ukrainian military managed to capture a mortar radar together with the entire mortar position. Typically, such positions are located around two to three kilometers from the frontline.
In the north of the Kharkiv region, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated Kupyansk-Vuzlovyi (an important transport hub in this section of the front line) and raised the Ukrainian flag over it.
In response to the partial mobilization in Russia, the US announced a new $1.1 billion military aid package for Ukraine:
- more HIMARS launchers;
- additional HIMARS ammunition;
- radar systems;
- counter-drone systems, allegedly to shoot down Iranian Shahed-136 loitering munitions;
- spare parts, technical support, training, and more.
There is a video showing a speech of a commander of a mobilization regiment addressing mobilized soldiers. He claims that they will undergo training for a month and emphasizes that it must be done in a responsible way: “the more you sweat here, the less blood there will be.” He also noted that servicemen with limited fitness for service (for health reasons) are eligible for draft during mobilization. Presumably, the video was filmed in Ryazan.
While on air of the regional state-run TV channel OTS, Yevgeny Kudryavtsev, the military commissar [head of the enlistment office] of the Novosibirsk region, responded to a question by the local residents as to how certain it was that people who are partially fit for service and have no prior combat experience will not be mobilized. "In accordance with the law, a citizen who has never undergone military service and is deemed "partially fit" is subject to mobilization. The primary criteria is his military occupational specialty. Those under 35 and belonging to the first category of priority are the first to be considered for mobilization, but, if the need arises, those who didn't serve and fall under restrictions can be looked into as well", said Kudryavtsev.
A video report of a visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Defense Minister for combat training Yunus-Bek Yevkurov to the Alabino training ground and an inspection of the training process for mobilized people appeared. Judging by shoulder straps, you can see that the mobilized are trained by cadets. Denis Lapin, who has been promoted to colonel, can also be seen on the video. Previously, he was the commander of the First Tank Regiment, which sustained heavy losses both in personnel and military vehicles in the Chernihiv direction.