Russian President Vladimir Putin held a signing ceremony today on the annexation of the four occupied regions of Ukraine. Speaking before the signatures were signed, Putin said, “The people on the territory of Ukraine made their choice in the referendums. “Russia has four new regions,” he said.
The four occupied regions of Ukraine were attached to the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a signing ceremony today regarding the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaprojya and Kherson. The signing ceremony held in the Kremlin was attended by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as deputies, senators and leaders of the four regions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Putin said that he made the people’s choice in the referendums held in four regions of Ukraine:
“Russia has four new regions. Today we will sign agreements on the acquisition of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions into Russia. People living in these four regions are now our citizens.”
Defending that the “results are well known” in the referendums, which the West described as bogus, Putin said, “People made their choices.” Saying that he hopes the Federal Assembly will support the four new regions of the Russian Federation, Putin said, “This is the will of millions of people.” Defending that the people in Donbas are “victims of inhuman terrorist attacks by the Kyiv regime,” Putin repeated his claims that Ukraine targeted Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine and committed genocide in that region.
Vladimir Putin also stated that they will rebuild the devastated settlements in the said regions and improve their infrastructure, health and education systems. Stating that they will always work on security, Putin said, “This way, all our citizens will feel supported by their ‘homeland’.”
On the other hand, Putin commemorated the soldiers who were martyred in Russia’s “special military operation”. “They died fighting for their land,” said Putin, and held a minute’s silence to commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives.
“Kyiv should return to the negotiating table”
Stating that Ukraine should return to the negotiating table, Putin said, “We are open to this and we have expressed it many times. Ukrainian authorities need to ‘respect the will of the people’. “We will protect our lands with all our might and do everything to ensure the safety of people,” he said.
“We need Russia, Not them”
Reiterating the claims that the West has been trying to bring Russia to its knees since the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Putin added that the West wants to seize Russia with new currencies and technological developments and is trying to destroy their culture. “They are uneasy about the existence of a rich country like ours,” said Putin, pointing to Russia’s vast mineral resources. Describing the West as “greedy”, Putin argued that they want Russia to have their own colonies and therefore they are waging a hybrid war against them:
“They don’t want to see us as a free society. They want to see us as a crowd of slaves. They don’t need Russia. We need Russia!”
After Putin’s speech, the leaders of the four regions appointed by Moscow were summoned to the podium and the necessary document for these regions to join Russia was signed.
After Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov announced yesterday that the agreement on the integration of these regions to Russia will be signed today, Putin signed two decrees recognizing Zaporizhia and Kherson as independent regions in the evening. Russia also recognized the independence of the governments in Donetsk and Luhansk on February 21. In his statement today, Peskov announced that attacks on the annexed areas would be an “attack on Russia”.
Posters showing that the four regions are part of the Russian Federation were also hung on the boards around the square.