An unmistakable countdown to the "signing of the treaties on the accession of new regions to the Russian Federation" ran down on television. Large rallies are taking place on Red Square and other corners of the capital Moscow, and recruiters for mass events have been luring people with rubles for days to participate. The sole purpose of the huge show is to fool the country (and probably the leadership) into gigantic enthusiasm for the annexation of the occupied Ukrainian territories. The highlight of the celebrations: the speech by President Vladimir Putin. It was full of sometimes bizarre tirades against the West, but made only vague hints about the war itself.
So what happens now if Russia keeps its hand on eastern and southern Ukraine? Seven scenarios:
Quellen: DPA, AFP, European Council on Foreign Relations, ND, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security