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A Russian serviceman stands guard subsequent to a bunch of international journalists in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Donetsk area © AP

Washington believes Russia is making ready to annex giant swaths of southern and japanese Ukraine, a senior US diplomat stated Monday.

“We consider that Russia will attempt to annex the Donetsk Individuals’s Republic and Luhansk Individuals’s Republic into so-called Russia,” stated Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the Organisation for Safety and Co-operation in Europe.

He added that the US has stories indicating that “Russia has plans to engineer referenda on becoming a member of Russia someday in mid-Might and that Moscow is contemplating the same plan for Kherson,” in techniques he described as “straight out of the Kremlin’s playbook”.

Russia had beforehand staged independence referendums in Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014. The US assessed that it has related plans for the Ukrainian metropolis of Kherson, which Russia occupied in early March, Carpenter stated.

“Simply as Russia engineered these quasi statelets, the Donetsk Individuals’s Republic and the Luhansk Individuals’s Republic, now, we consider that the Kremlin could also be making an attempt to organise a Kherson Individuals’s Republic within the Kherson Oblast of southern Ukraine,” he stated.

Carpenter declined to supply extra particulars in regards to the stories, citing the US need to guard sources and strategies, however he stated they have been “extremely credible”.

The US and its companions wouldn’t think about such referenda or makes an attempt to annex Ukrainian territory as authentic, he stated.

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