In a ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed this Friday, September 30, the decree annexing four Ukrainian regions: Donetsk and Lugansk, in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhia, in the south. In his speech, the president assured that Russia will defend itself with all its force and in turn called on Ukraine to end the war. The Russian leader thus formalized the allocation of these regions after promoting referendums denounced as “false” from kyiv and the West.
“There will be no Western hegemony,” warned Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the signing ceremony of the decree with which four regions of Ukraine were annexed.
These are Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south. Together they make up around 15% of the Ukrainian territory, an area of land comparable to Hungary or Portugal and include approximately 4 million people.
Surrounded by applause and together with the presence of the heads of the administrations that Moscow imposed on those territories, Putin made the measure official, which has strong international rejection.
The Kremlin leader assured that his country is at the beginning of a fight for a “historical and greater Russia” and rejected the accusations of kyiv and Western governments that they were “false” and “illegal” consultations.
Putin also took advantage of his speech to attack Western governments that support the invaded country and have supplied weapons to the Ukrainian Army. The West is “satanic,” he said.
The proclamation occurs after the holding of questionable referendums, between September 23 and 27, declared by kyiv, the United States and the European Union as “false” and illegal. Accusations that the Russian president rejected during his intervention this Friday.
According to the electoral authorities imposed by Moscow, the consultations backed the “Yes” of the annexation with up to 96%.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is annexing Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts during a ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace on Sept. 30.https://t.co/gsuOpV3McI
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) September 30, 2022
It is unclear exactly which territories it would include. Russian troops do not control all the towns in the regions where they held the votes. Just this September 30, the head of the administration installed by Moscow in the Donetsk region admitted that the Russian stronghold of Lyman is “semi-encircled” by the Ukrainian Army.
In the case of Kherson, the invading troops control around 95%. In Zaporizhia, kyiv still controls much of the region.
The truth is that with the signing of the annexation, Putin will have what he considers to be a legal way to launch military action in the name of the defense of territories that he now claims belong to him. Especially, given the warnings from the Ukrainian Army that he aims to recover all his territories and that in the last month he has dealt strong setbacks to the invading troops.
The Kremlin announced on Friday that attacks on any part of the strip of Ukraine that President Putin is about to annex would be considered an “aggression against Russia itself.”
News in development
With Reuters and local media
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