Russia has signaled intent to end ‘current phase’ of invasion, cut losses with Kherson referendum: expert

Russia appears to desire control of the Dnieper River, which bisects Ukraine

Russia has potentially signaled intent to end the invasion of Ukraine and integrate the Kherson region, an intelligence expert told Fox News Digital. 

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists that “residents of Kherson must decide for themselves” whether they will “appeal” for “integration of the region into the Russian territory,” according to TASS. 

Peskov refused to be drawn on the possibility of a referendum, saying he “stated what I wanted to state,” but former DIA officer Rebekah Koffler argued that Moscow will proceed with a referendum to provide “legal justification” for Russia to integrate Kherson. 

“This is standard Russian statecraft,” Koffler explained. “In 2014, 95.5% of Crimean residents voted for joining Russia.” 

But Koffler, author of  “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” further believes that integrating Kherson would be enough for Putin to say he achieved his goal for the current phase of the invasion, which Moscow has continued to call a “special operation” in Ukraine. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that completion of the “special operation” would stop the West’s attempts to “promote a unipolar world,” which Lavrov defined as “attempts to undermine international law.” 

Lavrov repeated the same talking points Moscow has pushed since before the invasion started, claiming that Russia’s intent behind the invasion was to protect “the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics from the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime” and ensure “the West will not build a military threat to the security of the Russian Federation from the territory of Ukraine.” 

“This is the first time, since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, that such a senior Russian official mentioned the idea of ending the ‘special operation,’” Koffler said. 

The Kherson region would provide Russia its much-desired access to Southern Ukraine and establish a land bridge to Crimea. By securing this access, Russia would be able to control the mouth of the Dnieper River, which bisects Ukraine and provides access along the length of the country.  

“Realizing he can’t win the war – as long as the U.S. and NATO are providing formidable weaponry and real-time intelligence to Ukraine – Putin is probably considering cutting his losses and ending the operation at this stage,” Koffler said. 

“If Putin absorbs Kherson into Russia or at least establishes another breakaway ‘People’s Republic’ — like Donetsk and Luhansk — he will have achieved the goals of this current phase of war,” she added.


  1. “If Putin absorbs Kherson into Russia or at least establishes another breakaway ‘People’s Republic’ — like Donetsk and Luhansk — he will have achieved the goals of this current phase of war,” she added.

    This expert forgot one small point and that is Ukraine. Does she think Ukraine will just say, OK, let’s all go home. Or will Ukraine respond by pushing the orcs all the way into the Black Sea.

  2. Can the mafia ass wipes really be so stupid and think they can end the war and keep Kherson and the rest of the stolen territories? Just like that?
    I very seriously doubt that Ukraine will swallow that stinky fish. We’ve thrown the maggots out of Kyiv region, we’ve thrown them out of the Kharkiv region (finishing the last touches) and I’m confident we will throw them out of the rest of Ukraine!

    • After the carnage on the river yesterday, Muscovy would be wise to get out of Ukraine altogether, while they can.

      • Absolutely right. Especially after pushing the nazis to the border in the northeast. It may be possible to start the southern push and maybe even cut off Kherson Mariupol corridor. As I understand it more than 75% of troops in Crimea have been extinguished. I have to imagine much more than that aren’t interested in fighting at all. Perhaps Ukraine could just walk right in, even without little green men.

  3. It ain’t over until Ukraine says it’s over. Russia doesn’t get a vote on that.

  4. These vermin cannot be allowed to keep Kherson. That beautiful and productive oblast is unique in Europe. Filthy orcs do not belong there. They must all be killed.
    One shudders to think what atrocities have been committed there.
    But we must also focus on Mariupol: the defenders of Azovstal are still in putler-inflicted hell. For that, the genocide and theft of children, the punishment for the putinazis must be colossal.

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