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LONDON: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday presided over a ceremony to annex four Ukrainian regions partly occupied by his forces, escalating his seven-month war and taking it into an unpredictable new phase.

"This is the will of millions of people," he said in a speech before hundreds of dignitaries in the St George's Hall of the Kremlin.

The ceremony took place three days after the completion of hastily staged referendums in which Moscow's proxies in the occupied regions claimed majorities of up to 99% in favour of joining Russia.

Putin set to proclaim annexation of seized Ukrainian territory on Friday

Ukraine and Western governments described those votes as bogus, illegitimate and conducted at gunpoint.

In a speech repeatedly interrupted by applause, Putin declared that Russia had four new regions.

He urged Ukraine to cease military action and return to the negotiating table. Kyiv has vowed to recapture all the lands seized by Russia and said that Russia's decision to annex the territories had destroyed any prospect of talks.

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samir sardana Oct 01, 2022 02:47am
THE RUSSIANS IN THE 4 REPUBLICS WERE TRAPPED ,AFTER THE DISINT OF USSR THEY HAD NO TIME TO MOVE AND A DARK FUTURE IN RUSSIA - POST USSR DISINT RUSSIANS WERE TRAPPED IN UKRAINE,AND WANTED TO RETAIN THEIR LANGUAGE AND CULTURE - WHICH IS NATURAL ! BUT THE UKR FELT IT WAS TREASON,AND THAT IS ALSO A NATURAL REACTION HENCE, RUSSIANS WERE OPPRESSED AND OSTRACISED IN UKR NOW THE RUSSIANS ARE WITH THEIR CULTURE AND LANGUAGE AND UKRAINE IS STRONGER AS IT HAS NO SECURITY THREAT FROM RUSSIA NOW UJKRAINE WILL BE A STRONGER AND MORE POWERFUL NATION ! NOW - THEY HAVE TO END THE WAR MORAL OF THE STORY - A LINE DRAWN BY A HUMAN ON LAND/SAND CANNOT CAGE THE CONSCIENCE OF MILLIONS JUST LIKE KASHMIR AND PALESTINE RUSSIA HAS SHOWN THE WAY.dindooohindoo NOW WHEN WILL PAKISTAN AND PLA ACT TO FREE KASHMIR AND THE NORTH EAST ?
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