Voting in the State Duma for an appeal to Putin to recognize the "DNR"\"LNR" is a step, first of all, demonstrative and political, because it is not practical at all. Putin does not need an appeal from the Duma to recognize something as a state. He does it simply by his presidential decree. Therefore, if a show is made from this on the main political stage of Russia, then it is designed for specific viewers. In this case, those who are watching the pileup of Russian forces on the border, twists and turns with ultimatums from NATO and the USA, cyber attacks and other sources of tension, which Putin officially instructed his diplomats to support, at the collegium of the Russian MFA. These viewers are: Kyiv, the West and the internal audience.
Will Putin sign an appropriate decree recognizing the "republics"? If yes, then this will mean Russia's withdrawal from the Minsk agreements and their death "without regaining consciousness".
In this case, Russia loses the tool with which it hoped to lead Ukraine after "shoving" CADLO with the so-called "special status" into our political body. This will actually nullify Russia's policy towards Ukraine over the past 8 years and remove the sword of Damocles of the "Minsk agreements" from Kyiv.
That is why I have always considered the possibility of Putin's recognition of the "LDNR" as very low. But on reflection, and having superimposed this situation on the recent events, a sharp reversal of Russian tactics to weaken Ukraine does not seem so impossible. It may become real if Putin loses hope of forcing Ukraine to comply with "Minsk" on his terms.
Are there any prerequisites for such despair? Accumulation and activity of the Russian military on the Ukrainian borders; ultimatums to the West and its intimidation with the aim of exchanging a big war in Europe for a small dialogue between Kyiv and Donetsk and Luhansk; cyber attacks; internal destabilization operations in Ukraine; even conspiracies to change power in Kyiv – all this was aimed at forcing Ukraine to comply with "Minsk". And all this did not work!
And the Minsk agreements are beneficial to Russia when they are being implemented. If they are not being implemented, - then they harm it. Therefore, Putin, potentially, can stop beating on the closed door and try to climb through the window. That is, leaving "Minsk", under which he did not recognize his obligations anyway, and having "recognized" the "DNR"-"LNR" instead of them. What then?
Then, in order to still preserve the conflict as an instrument of weakening Ukraine, the "independent" "states" will begin a military campaign to "liberate" their "constitutional" territory, that is, the territories of Donbas controlled by the government. It will start, of course, with the participation, under the leadership, with the money and weapons of Russia. This may look like revenge on the West for refusing to "hear Russia", and as a weakening of Ukraine and the current power team.
But! This option does not guarantee Russia a successful final. Plus, it will entail sanctions for withdrawing from the "Minsk peace process".
Therefore, I do not believe that Putin will sign a decree recognizing the "republics". At least not in the short term. Rather, it is now defiantly put on the table to intimidate Kyiv and the West and force the latter to put pressure on Zelensky in order to fulfill "Minsk".
Literally today, the owner of the Kremlin asked Germany, France and the USA at a press conference with Scholz "to influence the current Ukrainian government". So he still hopes for "Minsk"…
But the very fact that Moscow has started raising the stakes in the game of politics suggests that it is no longer confident in the effectiveness of military pressure on Ukraine. That is, the military ardor is gradually fading away: if there is a war, then by proxy and locally in the Donbas.
Therefore, today's decision of the Duma is more of a political demarche than a change in the policy of the Russian Federation regarding Donbas.
By the way, this is a very bad signal for the residents of CADLO. They want to live in a normal state. And they were promised for a long time that "great Russia" would be this state. But received the consolidation of the bandit reservation at the legal level. Bummer!...
Serhiy Harmash, OstroV