September 29, 2022 09:55 GMT
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Mary Ilyushina at WaPo: "Putin’s speech is expected tomorrow at 3 pm Moscow time [0800ET, 1300BST, 1400CET], first time he will be speaking after thousands fled mobilization and Moscow concluded “referendums” in eastern Ukraine..."
- Significant focus on Putin's comments regarding the territories of Ukraine in which Russia held 'referendums' on joining the Russian Federation over recent days. Russia states that all voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
- If these oblasts are annexed a la Crimea, it risks a notable increase in risk. Kremlin could start to argue that the West is providing arms to Ukraine to 'invade' Russia proper and therefore Russia may be inclined to escalate its military response.
- Note that the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) is due to consider the issue of the entry of the Ukrainian oblasts into Russia on Oct 4.