Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting on the Kremlin’s military-industrial complex, September 20, 2022, in Moscow, Russia.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin On Friday, it announced four new regions of the country shortly after signing a decree to formally annex parts of occupied Ukraine.
“There are four new regions in Russia,” Putin said from the Moscow Kremlin, according to a translation.
“The results are known and known,” Putin said, referring to a series of votes that the West has described as fake. He claimed that the results came because of the will of millions of people, saying that they have the right to self-determination.
The captured territory is two pro-Russian “republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and in Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south.
Unsurprisingly, the votes, which Ukraine and its allies deemed illegitimate, illegal and fraudulent, saw the majority of people vote to join Russia.
echo Previous Claims Putin said that the West is trying to undermine Russia, “The West is looking for new opportunities to strike us and they have always dreamed of dividing our country into smaller countries that will fight each other.”
“They can’t be happy with the idea of having this big country with everyone [these] Natural riches and people who will never live under foreign oppression.”
Ukraine said the referendums were held “at the point of a gun” and called on its international allies to immediately escalate tough sanctions against Russia in order to deter it from annexing more territory, as it did with Crimea in 2014.
Kyiv said it would not stop fighting until it regained every last inch of land it had lost to Russia, and said it would not negotiate with the Kremlin after the so-called vote.
Moscow, for its part, has warned that it has the “right” to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory and citizens if it feels there is an existential threat, or even if it is attacked with conventional weapons.
This has raised fears that it may resort to the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine now that more areas have been annexed and Moscow can claim them, however spurious, as theirs. A Ukrainian Defense Ministry official told CNBC this week Kyiv understands that the threat of such an attack is “real”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said before Putin announced that Russia had four new regions, the so-called referendums “will have no legal value and deserve condemnation.”
“It stands against everything the international community is supposed to stand for,” Guterres said Thursday. “It makes a mockery of the purposes and principles of the United Nations. It is a dangerous escalation. It has no place in the modern world. It must not be accepted.”
It is believed that Moscow’s latest move is likely to escalate and prolong the war further, making a peaceful solution more complicated.
Changes to Russia’s constitution in 2020, under Putin, mean that it is illegal for Russia to cede any part of its territory to a foreign power, which means it is unlikely to willingly cede its territory to Ukraine.
All indications are that Putin decided a prewar surge, after ramping up nuclear rhetoric and ordering a military mobilization that saw 300,000 reservists called up, with many trying to desert conscription, to be sent to fight in Ukraine with poor training and little equipment.
Western countries have vowed to continue supporting Ukraine, repeating their mantra that they will do so “whatever it takes”, but there are fears the war could go on for months and years, before that support wanes; There are already fears that the United States and Europe will run out of weapons to send Ukraine, Which is largely dependent on NATO weapons to continue to fight the war.
Meanwhile, Western citizens are dealing with the war’s fallout from rising energy and food prices, and could begin to pressure their governments to rebuild relations with energy and wheat giant export Moscow to ease these pressures.
Ian Bremer, president of the Eurasia Group, said in a speech Wednesday.
“This still widening conflict was, and is, the design of one man, but its effects have upended lives and livelihoods in every area of our still largely interconnected world.”