July 24, 2021

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Seizing Ukrainian water for Russian-occupied Crimea: task number 1 for Putin, says Illarionov

A trainload of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers reportedly recently arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea as part of Putin's aggressive military buildup targeting Ukraine (Source: Social media)

A train of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers reportedly arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea recently as part of Putin’s aggressive military formation against Ukraine (Source: social media)

2021/04/18 – 12:03 •

Edited by: AN

Vladimir Putin has long ago made it clear that he does not believe Ukraine has the right to exist as an independent country, says Andrey Illarionov. But his “number one task” in any military move against Ukraine now is sixteen water supplies in southeastern Ukraine for the water-shorted Russian-occupied Crimea.

The Russian economist says Putin, if he succeeds, will likely order Russian forces deeper into Ukraine, guaranteeing a wider war if the US does not change its position and put NATO troops on the ground there.

Putin’s first objective, however, “is not Mariupol, not the spread of ‘DNR’ over the entire territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and not a [military] disembarkation between Mykolayiv and Odesa. “He is interested in” establishing control over the Northern Crimean Canal “so that he can ensure that water will be available for what he has already occupied.

Northern Crimean canal

The Northern Crimean Canal which supplied Ukrainian Crimea with most of the fresh water it needed from 1975 until the early months of the Russian occupation in 2014.

The conquest of this area, says Illarionov, “is not a big problem from a military point of view”. The problem, however, is to hold him back after he is kidnapped. By itself, Ukraine will have difficulty defending itself against a Russian advance; but with the help he might be able to push it back or raise the cost of employment to levels unacceptable in Moscow.

According to the economist, a move to seize water supplies in this region would be the first step towards Moscow’s broader goal of gaining control over Ukraine’s entire Black Sea coast, leaving that country a rump state. without easy access to the rest of the world. It would also leave Ukraine without enough water for its own population, which Moscow could exploit.

On the growing water shortage in Russian-occupied Crimea, see the following:

Further reading on Russia’s crimes in Crimea:

Edited by: AN

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Tags: Crimea, crimes of the Russian occupation regime in Crimea, Russian occupation of Crimea, water issue in Crimea