Putin illegally annexes Ukrainian areas as a part of Russia

The EU’s 27 member states mentioned they’ll by no means recognise the unlawful referendums that Russia organised “as a pretext for this additional violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Ukraine vowed to proceed preventing, and Zelensky introduced the “accelerated” NATO software, though it wasn’t instantly clear what that may imply, because it requires the unanimous help of the alliance’s members.

(Left to right) Moscow-appointed head of Kherson Region Vladimir Saldo, Moscow-appointed head of Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Denis Pushilin, leader of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Leonid Pasechnik, leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.

(Left to proper) Moscow-appointed head of Kherson Area Vladimir Saldo, Moscow-appointed head of Zaporizhzhia area Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Denis Pushilin, chief of self-proclaimed Donetsk Folks’s Republic and Leonid Pasechnik, chief of self-proclaimed Luhansk Folks’s Republic.Credit score:AP

“De facto, we’ve got already confirmed compatibility with alliance requirements. They’re actual for Ukraine – actual on the battlefield and in all points of our interplay,” Zelensky mentioned. “We belief one another, we assist one another, and we shield one another. That is the alliance.”

The Kremlin ceremony got here three days after the completion in occupied areas of Moscow-orchestrated “referendums” on becoming a member of Russia that have been dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a bare-faced land seize held at gunpoint and based mostly on lies.

However Putin, in a fiery speech on the ceremony, insisted that Ukraine should deal with the Kremlin-managed votes “with respect.”

After the signing ceremony of treaties to affix Russia, Moscow-installed leaders of the occupied areas gathered round Putin and so they all linked arms, earlier than then becoming a member of chants of “Russia! Russia!” with the viewers.

Putin additionally railed on the West, slicing an indignant determine as he accused america and its allies of searching for to destroy Russia. He mentioned the West acted “as a parasite” and used its monetary and technological power “to rob your entire world”.

He portrayed Russia as being on a historic mission to reclaim its post-Soviet nice energy standing and counter Western domination that he mentioned is collapsing.

“Historical past has known as us to a battlefield to combat for our folks, for the grand historic Russia, for future generations,” he mentioned.

The separatist Donetsk and Luhansk areas in japanese Ukraine have been backed by Moscow since declaring independence in 2014, weeks after the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The southern Kherson area and a part of neighbouring Zaporizhzhia have been captured by Russia quickly after Putin despatched troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Each homes of the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament will meet subsequent week to rubber-stamp the treaties for the areas to affix Russia, sending them to Putin for his approval.

Putin and his lieutenants have bluntly warned Ukraine towards urgent an offensive to reclaim the areas, saying Russia would view it as an act of aggression – threats that Moscow can again up with the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear warheads.

The Kremlin-organised votes in Ukraine have been an try by Putin to keep away from extra defeats on the battlefields that might threaten his 22-year rule. By setting Russia’s beneficial properties in stone, no less than on paper, Putin seemingly hopes to scare Ukraine and its Western backers with the prospect of an more and more escalatory battle except they again down — which they present no indicators of doing.

Russia controls many of the Luhansk and Kherson areas, about 60 per cent of the Donetsk area and a big chunk of the Zaporizhzhia area the place it took management of Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant.

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