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UKRAINE SHORT: RUSSIA WILL TAKE THE DONBASS... BUT HOW MUCH MORE?
Within weeks Russia will certainly secure the Donbass region wresting it permanently from Ukraine. That is beyond question. But the question now is how many more regions will Russia take in the face of Ukrainian leadership intransigence and the constant upping of the ante in its aggressive stance toward Russia.
As Russia methodically degrades the Ukrainian army and its related militias in the Donbass Russian speakers in locations outside the Donbass are increasingly showing their allegiance to Russia by lowering Ukrainian flags and raising the Russian national flag.
As the western powers have shown their unlimited economic and financial attacks on Russia as well as playing an active part in supplying weapons to kill members of the Russia military Russian attitudes are changing and hardening. Now, as the western elites and the Ukrainian leadership continue to resist Russian demands and seek to escalate, including attacks on Russian soil, there are few reasons for Russia to limit its ambitions.
All that the West can do to Russia in terms of financial and economic penalties and sanctions has already been done. Therefore, there is no drawback apparent in Russia expanding its area of control in Ukraine, especially as the populations in the regions in prospect are evidencing their strong pro-Russian support.