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ISW: Kremlin may direct patronage programs to occupied territories
The Kremlin may be directing patronage programs led by Russian regions to consolidate socio-economic control in the occupied Ukrainian territories, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update on Feb. 21.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin referenced the program in his Feb. 21 speech saying that “Russian regions are providing direct support for cities, districts, and villages in occupied areas,” according to the report. The D.C.-based think tank reported on the involvement of Tyumen regional authorities in projects in Russian-occupied parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
The committment of regional resources to consolidate economic and social control over the occupied territories matches earlier ISW assessments.
Referencing the investigative reporting on the Kremlin’s alleged plan to take over Belarus by 2030, ISW said the findings are “consistent with ISW’s long-term research and assessments about the Kremlin’s campaigns.” NATO must develop plans to account for the likely Russian-controlled Belarus, the report added.