Russia will formally annex 4 areas of Ukraine partially managed by its army, the Kremlin introduced Thursday, in a significant political escalation of the conflict towards its neighbor.
It comes after Moscow-backed authorities staged votes within the occupied areas of Ukraine’s east and south that had been broadly denounced as a sham to justify a land seize following Russia’s current army setbacks.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin would attend a ceremony on the accession of the 4 areas — Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia — on the Kremlin’s St. George’s Corridor on Friday.
“There will likely be an enormous speech by Putin there too,” Peskov mentioned.
Ukraine’s Overseas Ministry has decried the ballots as an unlawful “propaganda present.” They noticed armed troops accompany election officers going door-to-door asking folks to vote.
The USA and its Western allies have vowed to not acknowledge Russia’s declare over the areas.
There’s additionally worldwide concern about how Moscow would possibly search to defend its new claimed territory if and when Kyiv tries to take it again. Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov has recommended it might be ready to make use of nuclear weapons — a risk Putin has repeatedly made.
This can be a growing story. Please test again for updates.