Russia’s much-vaunted “Day of Unification” holiday on Saturday was marked by a grand speech from President Putin but a touch of confusion and mixed messages from other Kremlin officials.

The day was supposed to celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the so-called “agreements on the inclusion of new territories into the Russian Federation,” the illegal annexation of Ukrainian lands occupied by Moscow’s forces.

But in marking the day, it became apparent the Kremlin had not specified exactly which lands these were.

Putin addressed the nation on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the annexations, calling them a historic choice by the people living there to reunite with the “Fatherland.”


According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Sevastopol occupation governor Mikhail Razvozhaev got fully behind the message in a post on Telegram which declared the entirety of Crimea and Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts as Russian territory.

This was in marked contrast to a post from the Kherson Oblast occupation administration, which showed a map with Russian territory extending only to roughly areas corresponding to the present front lines.

Further adding to the confusion, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev, said the war in Ukraine will continue until “the original Russian territories are liberated,” though he failed to state what these actually were.

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In a bombastic speech, he added: “The special military operation will continue until the complete destruction of the Nazi regime in Kyiv. 

“Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia.”

Again, he did not specify what these “new regions” would be.

The ISW concluded: “Medvedev’s unclear statement and occupation officials’ disparate maps indicate that the Kremlin has yet to clarify what territories it claims to have annexed or intends to annex.”

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