As for the optimistic (from the Russian perspective) assessment for the future, one will have to wait and see. The Empire surely isn't about to throw in the towel:
Photo of Zakharchenko today with his wife walking to the voting station, surrounded by nine soldiers in green, unmarked uniforms, no patches, no St. George ribbon markers. Did not look like they were militia. Maybe they were contractors from an outfit called Greenwater. (joking)
So, the message I see is Moscow has taken over the government and has forced out the leaders they don't want in politics and out of the Novorossiya military leadership.
Bezler is out because he never submitted completely even to Strelkov.
The last big name unit leader to stand is Alexey Mosgovoy. With his attitude out of line with Moscow, he might be next to be pushed out.
So, the responsibility for the defense and success of the region and its 4 million people is completely on Moscow.
I think that Putin needed this control because the dangers are directly toward Russia. With only Russian military and political operatives running the Donbass, he will have no interference, delay or mistakes in outcome. I don't see how there is any room for oligarchs and fifth columnists now that all Russian flesh and blood is on the line. Any interference is treason, straight and simple.
Once, this is clearly understood, the West and Kiev will realize they are shelling Russia directly, not indirectly. And they are launching an offensive against Russia directly, not indirectly.
Putin has ended the proxy war. The proto war continues in all forms and dimensions. But the proxy war is ceased. New Russia is Russia de facto if not de jure.
It doesn't matter that no foreign country recognizes Novorossiya. It's a piece of the whole, and will operate with a long open border manned by Russians on both sides. Gas, electricity, water, and whatever they need will come through Rostov.
I wouldn't be surprised that Putin makes an appearance there on some significant day early next year. Flies right in to Donetsk Airport to tell the folks they won! Sort of like he did in Crimea.
It's not about elections and boilers. It's about Russia having a leader who understands strategy and tactics, hearts and minds of Russians, and what to fight with, where to fight, when to fight and with certainty of purpose. If you look at how things have changed and how impossible a proxy war is for the CIA and NATO now, you will see that the West has lost big.
Putin has not only called their bluff on nuclear threats, he has disassembled their 50-60 Billion dollar Ukie war and shoved it up their butts.
Novorossiya is a small item in this struggle. Putin has put it into perspective. It is another heroic event in Russia versus fascism. If the fighting flares up again, the results will be even more one-sided. MiGs will be based at Donetsk. And S-300's will be guarding the airspace. White truck convoys will be by the thousands in months ahead.
Watch for the return of Chinese investment which has been on hold. They had deals in East Ukraine. I suspect they'll be rebuilding some of the infrastructure. They do that faster than anyone.
It will be safe for Malaysian Airliners to fly over Donbass once again.
The underdog won. The bully got whipped. All along the battle was against the satanic. God wins those battles. You just have to have faith.
US Army Sends 100 Tanks To Eastern Europe To "Deter Russian Aggression"
Dumb Germans Quote:
Germany said Russia's recognition of Sunday's "extremely questionable" poll was "incomprehensible"
Donetsk Republic hails Kiev’s decision to cancel law on special status of Donbass
Over 20 civilians killed in shelling by Ukrainian army in Luhansk — acting police chief