The Kremlin seeks not only the next election of the head of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People’s Republic" and "DPR parliament" but also a new referendum on its status.
However, the news came earlier about the postponement for an indefinite period of the elections in the "DPR" and "LPR," initially scheduled for the coming autumn, that's according to Denis Pushilin, a Kremlin puppet close to Vladimir Putin's aide Vladislav Surkov, according to the Ukraine-based Information Resistance OSINT community.
The most interesting thing is that all of Surkov's "talking heads" are disingenuously pointing out various reasons why elections have been delayed.
The real reason is the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine set to be held in 2019.
And here's the context. According to the strategic concept on Ukraine and "DPR-LPR" that Surkov drafted for Putin, it should be about:
1. Bringing the "pro-Russian" president to power in Ukraine (while there are several players in the deck, for whom different "Kremlin Towers" root);
2. Forming a parliamentary majority around the "pro-Russian" president during elections to the Verkhovna Rada;
3. Beginning direct negotiations between the "new" Ukrainian government and “DPR-LPR,” with the mediation of a "peacekeeper" Moscow, about the readmission of “DPR-LPR” into Ukraine as an autonomy with broad rights;
4. Changing the Constitution of Ukraine by "new" Ukrainian government... under a federative nation; and
5. Conducting elections of new heads of “republics,” the parliament in the “DPR-LPR,” in order to put forward less infamous personas, and a referendum about returning the territories to Ukraine on the rights of autonomy with broad rights.
According to Surkov and his "think tank," this will allow:
- Lifting Western sanctions;
- Pushing "LPR-DPR" back into Ukraine, leaving to Kremlin full political and economic control over the territories, but shifting the entire financial burden to Kyiv and to the international community as regards restoring the infrastructure;
- Launching another "parade" of 2-3 autonomies within Ukraine to consolidate control over the official Kyiv and creating additional fuses; and
- Putting on halt Ukraine's integration with the EU and NATO.
Therefore, Surkov and his team, as well as the Russian military intelligence are aiming to implement points 1-2, without which the entire strategy would collapse like a house of cards. Also, the opponents from other Kremlin Towers are constantly poking "knives in the back" of Surkov and his team, especially the FSB, who cannot stand the fact that Surkov is regaining a major role in the Ukraine issue.
If the strategy fails, there is Plan B for "LPR-DPR," which is the current Donbas status in the form of a constant irritant for Ukraine.
No one will ever take the "LPR-DPR" to Russia, because, according to the estimates by the Surkov team, the infrastructure and the economy of "LPR-DPR" have been destroyed, and now about $30-40 billion is needed for their recovery. In addition, the region will be subsidized and at the initial stage it will draw amounts that will be way larger than those for the annexed Crimea. And this is without mentioning the level of criminogenic situation, environment, etc.
Apparently, Moscow wants to push the "LPR-DPR" back into Ukraine on autonomy rights, and then to get money from the Ukrainian budget and foreign partners for reconstruction with the help of its proxies. At the same time, Kremlin wants to have sanctions lifted and Crimea left “behind brackets.”