Russian political analyst and publicist Andrei Piontkovsky has said restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity means "the country's accession to occupied Donbas."
He says in Ukraine there is a mistaken perception of integration with occupied Donbas.
"It is presented to Ukraine as the restoration of the country's territorial integrity. But this is a reunion with occupied Donbas with the full preservation of Russian 'proxies,' the full power of Russian troops, the two army corps. And if there is an accession, why are the Armed Forces of Ukraine standing along the contact line then? There is no dividing line! The military leave and open the way from occupied Donbas. And no one is hiding it! I repeat: the so-called 'constitution' of this 'Luhansk People's Republic' includes a provision that its borders are the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, i.e. the issue of seizing Mariupol, the entire coast of the Sea of Azov will be decided one day. But in fact, this is the incorporation of an alien structure, a military-terrorist bridgehead for the aggressor into the political body of Ukraine," the expert told the Ukrainian news outlet Apostrophe.
Piontkovsky said a rally "in support of the Russian language" had been thwarted in the city of Kharkiv not long ago. According to him, the war in Donbas began in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk namely with such meetings in support of for the Russian language. After the reunion, one of the Russian army corps will appear in Kharkiv to help the "advocates for the Russian language."
"This is a suicidal scenario. Such an act of provocation was not accidental – similar attempts will begin in various southeastern cities. This is a viable action plan. 'Ukraine's virtual accession to occupied Donbas' is not my term. I quote it from an article by Alexei Chesnakov, [Russian President's aide] Vladislav Surkov's right hand," the political analyst added.