Putin Claims Four Regions Of Ukraine As Part Of Russia

In an escalation of the Ukraine invasion, President Vladimir Putin attended ceremonies on Friday to announce that Russia had formally annexed four regions of Ukraine.

After holding voter referendums in the regions, which Western powers described as a “sham,” Putin took to the podium to celebrate the annexations.

He announced that now that the four regions — Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — were part of Russia, he would use “all available means” to defend them from the threat of attack.

The statement is being viewed as a reiteration of Putin’s recent remarks that he would defend Russia with nuclear warheads if necessary.

While the West views the voter referendums in the four regions as violations of international law, Putin repeatedly underscored the legitimacy of the votes. Russian officials reported that 90% of people in the regions participated and showed support for the annexations.

“The results are known, well known,” Putin stated.

“This is the will of millions of people,” he continued. “People living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region are becoming our compatriots forever.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine called Putin’s ceremony a “Kremlin freak show” without significance. Ukraine officials also said that the annexations obliterate any chances at negotiating for peace, as they promised to take back control of the four regions.

During his address, Putin spoke for 37 minutes, at one point accusing the West of “sheer Satanism.”

At the conclusion of the speech, which was held at St George’s Hall of the Kremlin, the hundreds of dignitaries in attendance stood up and applauded, “Russia! Russia!”

Along with Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine back in 2014, Russia has annexed roughly 22% of what was once Ukrainian territory.

Following his remarks, Putin signed the treaties with the so-called new leaders of the four territories.