Putin signs decrees paving the way for annexation of two more Ukrainian regions – POLITICO


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed decrees recognizing the independence of the occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, ahead of their illegal annexation by Russia.

In the decrees, published online by the Kremlin on Friday, Putin recognizes “the sovereignty and independence of the state” of the two southern regions of Ukraine.

The illegitimate and unilateral move follows sham votes last weekend in occupied parts of Ukraine, with military escorts and voters held at gunpoint.

In February, the Kremlin signed similar decrees for the Luhansk region and Donetsk.

The signing of the decrees is an intermediate step and paves the way for the formal annexation of the occupied regions to Russia. Putin is expected to announce the official annexation of the four regions on Friday afternoon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised a “tough” response to annexations, and Joe Biden has said the United States will “never, ever, ever” recognize Russia’s attempt to annex territory in Ukraine.




Politico

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