Britain’s Secret Service accuses Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of lying about his country’s goals for the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s foreign minister said on July 20 that his country had expanded the scope of its so-called “special military operation” to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions, not just the previously occupied Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
Kherson and Zaporizhzhya provinces are coastal areas of strategic importance towards the Black Sea. Most of the two provinces are under Russian occupation.
– not extended
In a recent report, British intelligence claimed that Lavrov’s plan to expand the operation may have been a lie.
Russia did not expand its war. The intelligence service writes that maintaining control of these areas was certainly one of the original goals of the invasion.
They suspect that Lavrov came up with a plot to justify holding a referendum in the occupied territories after the start of the war on February 24.
Since 2014, three regions of the country have been occupied by Russia or pro-Russian forces: Crimea, parts of Donetsk Oblast, and parts of Luhansk Oblast.
After the Russian invasion of Crimea, a referendum was held on whether the peninsula should belong to Russia or Ukraine. The same was done in the separatist-occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk.
None of the polls are internationally recognized.
It has long been speculated whether Russia would enter similar referendums in the occupied territories after the start of the war.
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