Nearly 10 weeks into the war and with its troops making only marginal gains in Ukraine’s east, Russia is focused on cementing both military and political control over the territory it has taken so far.
The Kremlin is installing occupation governments, ordering local residents to use rubles for transactions and, according to three people involved in the efforts, planning hastily organized referendums in some areas to open the way for full annexation. The people spoke on condition of anonymity given the risk of retribution discussing sensitive information. The Kremlin did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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