‘We’re seeing ample evidence and the intelligence in the public domain,’ says National Security Council official
Russia is preparing to take parts of Ukraine as its war on that country has continued since February, a US official said Tuesday.
“Russia is laying the groundwork to annex Ukrainian territory that it controls in direct violation of Ukraine sovereignty,” John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said at a news conference. “We’re seeing ample evidence and the intelligence in the public domain that Russia intends to try to annex additional Ukrainian territory.”
Kirby said Russia is beginning to roll out a version of annexation that is similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“Russia is installing illegitimate proxy officials in the areas of Ukraine that are under its control,” he said.
The Biden administration official said officials will “arrange sham referenda on adjoining Russia, then Russia will use those sham referenda as a basis to try to claim annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.”
The Russian government, said Kirby, is reviewing detailed plans, which he said include the regions of Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.
He also said Russia is readying conditions to establish branches of Russian banks and establish the ruble as the default currency in those areas and sabotage civilian internet access.
“Russia has taken control of broadcasting towers, establishing loyalist security forces, replacing telecommunications infrastructure, forcing residents to apply for Russian citizenship and issuing Russian passports,” he added.