Vladimir Putin hopes that the formal annexation of the four regions of Ukraine will help him save his victory. It is important to him that no region is fully occupied by Russia, or that Ukraine continues to have grounds against listing Russian forces. For Mr. Putin, the so-called takeover allows him to claim success to reassure an increasingly nervous domestic audience. While there is some logic to his claims, they are shaping up to be another strategic blunder.
It can be seen why Mr. Putin thinks this is a good idea. The merger was supposed to bring these lands under the Russian nuclear umbrella. Given how often Mr. Putin has swung his nuclear sword in recent weeks, this is a dangerous development. More broadly, the merger is a way for Mr. Putin to assert that he is returning “historic” lands to Russia. Mr. Putin is taking it as a victory, saying before announcing the merger on Friday, “Nothing is more powerful [these regions’] determined to return to their authentic historical homeland”.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/putins-annexations-may-cost-him-crimea-kherson-luhansk-revanchism-russian-civilization-west-military-11665319201 Putin’s Annexations May Cost Him Crimea