Russia’s Putin moves to annex 4 Ukraine regions despite global outcry over land grab blasted as illegal

Kyiv, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the method of annexing components of Ukraine by saying he would signal legal guidelines to soak up them despite worldwide condemnation and shield the newly integrated regions utilizing “all available means.” In a speech previous a treaty-signing ceremony to make 4 Ukrainian regions a part of Russia, Putin warned his nation would by no means quit the occupied areas and would shield them as a part of its sovereign territory.
 
He urged Ukraine to sit down for talks to finish the combating, however warned sternly that Russia would by no means give up management of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. He accused the West of fueling the hostilities as a part of its plan to flip Russia right into a “colony” and a “crowds of slaves.”

In response to his transfer, Ukraine’s Presient Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced that his nation was submitting an “accelerated” application to be a part of the NATO navy alliance. Ukraine has lengthy aspired to be a part of NATO, however the alliance has not provided an invite, and there was no instant indication how it will obtain Zelenskyy’s bid.


Russia prepares to annex occupied regions of Ukraine after sham referendum

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Putin has lengthy demanded that Ukraine by no means be allowed to be a part of NATO, and his regime has bristled on the looing accession of Finland and Sweden — international locations shut to Russia’s borders — to the Western navy alliance. 

The ceremony comes three days after the completion of Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” on becoming a member of Russia that have been dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a bare-faced land grab, held at gunpoint and primarily based on lies.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an announcement Thursday condemning the Russian transfer.

“The UN Charter is clear,” he stated. “Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.”

The occasion within the Kremlin’s opulent white-and-gold St. George’s Hall was organized for Putin and the heads of the 4 regions of Ukraine to signal treaties for the areas to be a part of Russia, in a pointy escalation of the seven-month battle.

The separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions in jap 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 the neighboring Zaporizhzhia have been captured by Russia quickly after Putin despatched troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
 
Both homes of the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament will meet subsequent week to rubber-stamp the treaties for the regions to be a part of Russia, sending them to Putin for his approval.
 
Putin and his lieutenants have bluntly warned Ukraine towards urgent an offensive to reclaim the regions, saying Russia would view it as an act of aggression towards its sovereign territory and would not hesitate to use “all means available” in retaliation, a reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

The Kremlin-organized votes in Ukraine and the nuclear warning are an try by Putin to keep away from extra defeats in Ukraine that might threaten his 22-year rule.


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Russia controls many of the Luhansk and Kherson regions, about 60% of the Donetsk area and a big chunk of the Zaporizhzhia area the place it took management of Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant.
 
Asked about Russia’s plans, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that on the very least Moscow goals to “liberate” the complete Donetsk area.
 
As it ready to rejoice the incorporation of the occupied Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin was on the verge of one other stinging battlefield loss, with reviews of the approaching Ukrainian encirclement of the jap metropolis of Lyman.
 
Retaking it might open the trail for Ukraine to push deep into one of many regions Russia is absorbing, a transfer extensively condemned as illegal that opens a harmful new section of the seven-month conflict.
 
Russia on Friday additionally pounded Ukrainian cities with missiles, rockets and suicide drones, with one strike reported to have killed 25 individuals. The salvos collectively amounted to the heaviest barrage that Russia has unleashed for weeks.

The our bodies of civilians killed by a missile strike lay on the bottom close to Zaporizhzhia, in jap Ukraine, September 30, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

KATERYNA KLOCHKO/AFP/Getty


They adopted analysts’ warnings that Putin was seemingly to dip extra closely into his dwindling shares of precision weapons and step up assaults as a part of a method to escalate the conflict to an extent that will shatter Western assist for Ukraine.
 
The Kremlin preceded its scheduled annexation ceremonies Friday with one other warning to Ukraine that it should not combat to take again the 4 regions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated Moscow would view a Ukrainian assault on the taken territory as an act of aggression towards Russia itself.
 
The annexations are Russia’s try to set its positive factors in stone, a minimum of on paper, and 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. The Kremlin paved the way in which for the land-grabs with “referendums,” generally at gunpoint, that Ukraine and Western powers universally dismissed as rigged shams.
 
“It looks quite pathetic. Ukrainians are doing something, taking steps in the real material world, while the Kremlin is building some kind of a virtual reality, incapable of responding in the real world,” former Kremlin speechwriter turned political analyst Abbas Gallyamov stated.
 
“People understand that the politics is now on the battlefield,” he added. “What’s important is who advances and who retreats. In that sense, the Kremlin cannot offer anything сomforting to the Russians.”
 
A Ukrainian counter-offensive has disadvantaged Moscow of mastery on the navy fields of battle. Its maintain of the Luhansk area seems more and more shaky, as Ukrainian forces make inroads there, with the pincer assault on Lyman. Ukraine additionally nonetheless has a big foothold within the neighboring Donetsk area.
 
Luhansk and Donetsk — wracked by combating since separatists there declared independence in 2014 — kind the broader Donbas area of jap Ukraine that Putin has lengthy vowed, however up to now failed, to make utterly Russian. Peskov stated that each Donetsk and Luhansk will probably be integrated Friday into Russia of their entirety.

A map highlights the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, with the Zaporizhzhia area additionally seen.

Getty/iStockphoto


All of Kherson and components of Zaporizhzhia, two different regions being ready for annexation, have been newly occupied within the invasion’s opening section. It’s unclear whether or not the Kremlin will declare all, or simply half, of that occupied territory as Russia’s. Peskov would not say in a name Friday with reporters.
 
In the Zaporizhzhia area’s capital, anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has repurposed as ground-attack weapons rained down Friday on individuals who have been ready in vehicles to cross into Russian-occupied territory so they may carry members of the family again throughout entrance strains, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, stated.
 
The basic prosecutor’s office stated 25 individuals have been killed and 50 wounded. The strike left deep impression craters and despatched shrapnel tearing by the humanitarian convoy’s lined-up automobiles, killing their passengers. Nearby buildings have been demolished. Trash baggage, blankets and, for one sufferer, a blood-soaked towel, have been used to cover our bodies.
 
Russian-installed officers in Zaporizhzhia blamed Ukrainian forces for the strike, however supplied no proof.
 
Russian strikes have been additionally reported within the metropolis of Dnipro. The regional governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, stated a minimum of one particular person was killed and 5 others have been wounded.
 
Ukraine’s air power stated the southern cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa have been additionally focused with Iranian-supplied suicide drones that Russia has more and more deployed in latest weeks, seemingly to keep away from dropping extra pilots who do not have management of Ukraine’s skies.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin provides a speech throughout an occasion to mark the 1160th anniversary of Russia’s statehood in Veliky Novgorod, September 21, 2022.

ILYA PITALEV/SPUTNIK/AFP/Getty


Putin was anticipated to give a serious speech on the ceremony to fold Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into Russia. The Kremlin deliberate for the area’s pro-Moscow directors to signal annexation treaties within the ornate St. George’s Hall of the palace in Moscow that’s Putin’s seat of energy.
 
Putin additionally issued decrees recognizing the supposed independence of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, steps he beforehand took in February for Luhansk and Donetsk and earlier for Crimea, seized from Ukraine in 2014.
 
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in the meantime, referred to as an emergency meeting of his National Security and Defense Council and denounced the most recent Russian strikes.
 
“The enemy rages and seeks revenge for our steadfastness and his failures,” he posted on his Telegram channel. “You will definitely answer. For every lost Ukrainian life!”

A photograph supplied by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office reveals Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, middle, surrounded by troopers throughout a go to to Izyum, one of many cities within the Kharkiv area lately recaptured by Ukrainian forces, September 14, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office by way of AP


The U.S. and its allies have promised much more sanctions on Russia and billions of {dollars} in further assist for Ukraine as the Kremlin duplicates the annexation playbook used for Crimea.
 
With Ukraine vowing to take again all occupied territory and Russia pledging to defend its positive factors, threatening nuclear-weapon use and mobilizing an extra 300,000 troops despite protests,  the 2 nations are on an more and more escalatory collision course.
 
That was underscored by the combating for Lyman, a key node for Russian navy operations within the Donbas and a sought-after prize within the Ukrainian counteroffensive launched in late August.
 
The Russian-backed separatist chief of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, stated the town is now “half-encircled” by Ukrainian forces. In feedback reported by Russian state information company RIA Novosti, he described the setback as “worrying news.”
 
“Ukraine’s armed formations,” he stated, “are trying very hard to spoil our celebration,”

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