Vladimir Putin signs annexation treaties for Ukrainian territory
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements to seize four Ukrainian districts partially controlled by his forces, deepening his seven-month war and ushering in an unforeseeable new chapter.
In a speech before hundreds of guests in St. George’s Hall in the Kremlin, he declared, “This is the will of millions of people.” People from Luhansk, Donetsk, the region of Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia will forever be our countrymen.
At a ceremony described by Kyiv as a “Kremlin freak show” devoid of legal significance, Putin delivered a 37-minute tirade against the West, accusing it of “pure Satanism,” before signing the treaty articles with the Russian-backed leaders of the four organizations.
They then joined hands and screamed “Russia! Russia!” in sync with hundreds of dignitaries who rose to their feet in a standing ovation.
The ceremony took place three days after the conclusion of hurriedly organized’ referendums’ in which Moscow’s proxies in the occupied territories claimed up to 99 percent support for joining Russia.
Prior to their announcement ten days ago, Ukraine and Western nations said the elections were conducted under duress and were fraudulent and illegitimate.
Ukraine, the United States, and the leader of the United Nations all stated that the annexation ceremony lacked legal significance.
Putin urged Ukraine to suspend military operations and resume negotiations. Kyiv has pledged to reclaim all of the territories annexed by Russia and stated that Russia’s decision to take the territory has eliminated any possibility of negotiations.
Russia, which has previously annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, now lays claim to approximately 22 percent of Ukraine’s land, including portions it does not control.
The commander of the Kremlin kept hundreds of assembled dignitaries waiting for 18 minutes before entering the impressive columned hall through a pair of golden doors opened by high-stepping guards as a fanfare blared.
In his speech, he invoked the memory of Russian heroes from the 18th century to World War II and repeated familiar accusations against the West, accusing it of colonial practices and recalling the use of nuclear weapons by the United States against Japan at the end of World War II, which he referred to as a “precedent.”
The hasty annexations imply that the war’s front lines will now traverse territory that Russia is claiming as its own and that Putin has stated he is willing to defend with nuclear weapons if necessary.
Putin vehemently refuted claims by certain Western lawmakers that he was bluffing. The United States asserts that it has warned Russia of devastating repercussions should it employ nuclear weapons.