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UK Intelligence explains why occupiers declare Melitopol as "capital" of Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Sunday, 19 March 2023, 08:26

A decision by the Russian occupation authorities to declare Melitopol as "the capital" of the Russian-occupied part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast means they cannot implement their plans for advancing further.

Source: UK Defence Intelligence on Twitter

Details: On 3 March 2023, authorities in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast published a decree that declared occupied Melitopol as the oblast capital.


The Russian-installed head of the oblast, Yevhen Balytskyi, said that this was a temporary measure until the city of Zaporizhzhia was controlled by Russia.

Zaporizhzhia is one of the four oblasts President Putin claimed to have annexed as part of the Russian Federation on 30 September 2022.

Russia has never occupied Zaporizhzhia city, a major industrial centre of 700,000 people, which is approximately 35 kilometres from the current front line.

The quiet declaration of an alternative capital is likely tacit acknowledgement within the Russian system that its forces are highly unlikely to seize previously planned major objectives in the near future.

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