Putin announces official annexation of four Ukrainian territories


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday annexing four Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation.

The order affects the disputed regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. Starting about a week ago, residents of these regions signed a referendum that US and European Union officials claimed was a hoax.

“You know there was a referendum,” Putin said at a ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday, state media said. , made a clear choice.”

Description The vote was “the will of millions of people” and Putin said that “people living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions will forever be our compatriots.”

In February, the Kremlin recognized the disputed Donbass regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, following an earlier agreement by the Ukrainian government to give these regions special status following the 2014 color revolution in Kyiv. accused of failing to implement On the 24th, he announced an invasion of Ukraine, describing it as a “special military operation.”

Referring to incidents in 2014, including protests against the Ukrainian government in Donbass and Crimea, which Russia eventually annexed, Putin said, “We will always remember the heroes of the Russian spring.

And Putin said, “We will remember those who died for their rights in their native language, in defense of culture, traditions and beliefs.” For their right to live,” state media reported.

Urged Ukraine to end military action and return to the negotiating table. Kyiv has pledged to recapture all land it has seized, saying Russia’s decision to annex the territory has destroyed any possibility of negotiations.

Epoch Times photo
A man casts his ballot for the referendum at a polling station in Mariupol on September 27, 2022. (His AFP via Stringer/Getty Images)

It happens when the Russian army faces setbacks on the battlefield. Pro-Russian officials have admitted that Russian forces are in danger of besieging Lyman, the main garrison in northern Donetsk.

A defeat there could pave the way for Ukraine to recapture swaths of territory that Putin has now declared to be part of Russia.


The referendum vote was heavily criticized in the West, accusing Russia of perpetuating lies.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he had promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Germany would never recognize “so-called consequences”.

“This is an attempt to steal another country’s territory,” Zelensky said in a remote address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday. “This is a very cynical attempt to force the male population of occupied Ukraine to join the Russian army and fight against their homeland.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres: UN Charter is clear Said Reporter Thursday. “The annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force violates the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law.”

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the United States is likely to impose additional sanctions on Russia. The US has already banned Russian oil imports while imposing penalties on top Kremlin leaders and their families.

“In response, we will work with our allies and partners to impose additional economic costs on Russia and the individuals and entities within and outside Russia that support this action,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips


Jack Phillips is a New York-based breaking news reporter for the Epoch Times.