“There are four new regions of Russia,” President Vladimir Putin says in a lengthy speech declaring the annexation of Ukrainian lands at a Kremlin ceremony.
Putin says the residents in the four annexed regions will now be Russia’s “citizens forever”.
The Russian president also argued it was the “integral right” of people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia to join Russia, citing the United Nations charter and its affirmation of the right to self-determination.
Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed the move as a meaningless war tactic.
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