Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed treaties to annex four Moscow-occupied Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia – at a grand ceremony in the Kremlin.

He then joined hands with the Moscow-installed heads of the regions on a stage in front of the Russian elite and chanted alongside them “Russia! Russia!”.

Putin annexed the regions despite warnings from the West and the fact that Moscow’s forces do not control the entirety of the regions.

The long-time Russian leader said the people of the regions had made an “univocal choice” to join Russia after so-called referendums that Moscow organised.

“I want to say this to the Kyiv regime and its masters in the West: People living in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia (regions) are becoming our citizens forever,” he said.

Advertisement

The West and international organisations did not recognise the voting, which was organised after Russia seized the territories by force.

In a speech before signing the treaties, Putin demanded that Kyiv stop all military action.

“We call on the Kyiv regime to immediately stop fighting and stop all hostilities… and return to the negotiating table.”

Putin, who turns 70 next week, sent troops to Ukraine in February.

Last week, he announced a mobilisation to prop up Russian forces fighting in Ukraine who have suffered heavy losses in recent months.

Russia Tries to Advance Before Ukraine’s F-16s Arrive, Says Syrsky
Other Topics of Interest

Russia Tries to Advance Before Ukraine’s F-16s Arrive, Says Syrsky

Kyiv’s Commander-in-Chief said Russia is now working hard to erode Ukraine’s forces the best it can before F-16s arrive and strengthen Ukrainian skies.
To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter