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Putin annexes Ukraine territories, Kyiv vows to fight back

Putin annexes Ukraine territories, Kyiv vows to fight back

RUSSIA: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (Sept 30) annexed four parts of Ukraine occupied by his army, staging a grand ceremony in Moscow as Kyiv vowed to battle on and pushed for expedited NATO membership.

RussianUkraine
By AFP

Saturday 1 October 2022, 09:52AM


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow-backed leaders in Ukraine celebrate after signing treaties annexing their regions. Photo: AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow-backed leaders in Ukraine celebrate after signing treaties annexing their regions. Photo: AFP

The event at the Kremlin ‒ a turning point in post-Soviet history ‒ came hours after shelling killed 30 people in Ukraine’s southern region of Zaporizhzhia in one of the worst attacks against civilians in months.

“I want to say this to the Kyiv regime and its masters in the West: People living in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens forever,” Putin said.

The packed hall erupted into chants of “Russia! Russia!” after the four leaders inked the deal. 

Washington announced “severe” new sanctions against Russian officials and the country’s defence industry, and said G7 allies support imposing “costs” on any nation that backs the annexation.

BIDEN SAYS PUTIN ‘STRUGGLING’

“We will negotiate with the new president,” Zelensky said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg slammed the annexation as “illegal and illegitimate” but remained non-committal after Ukraine said it was applying to join the Western alliance.

Despite warnings from Putin prior to the annexation that he could use nuclear weapons to defend the captured territories, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv would “continue liberating our land and our people”.

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Sullivan also said that while there is a “risk” of Putin using nuclear weapons, there is no indication that he would do so imminently. 

Bodies clothed in civilian wear were strewn across the ground after the attack and windows of cars blown out.

“The waitress gave it to me. And there was a bang. She got scared and left the cafe. A few minutes later, there was another explosion. Now she is on the floor,” he said.

LAND CORRIDOR

“I’m happy if they want to join Russia,” Natalya Bodner, a 37-year-old lawyer told AFP. “They have more hope than we do”.

Together, all five regions including Crimea, make up around 20% of Ukraine, whose forces in recent weeks have been clawing back territory.

Ukrainian forces were on the doorstep of Lyman in Donetsk, which Moscow’s forces pummelled for weeks to capture this summer.

The four regions’ Kremlin-installed leaders formally requested annexation after claiming residents backed the move in hastily organised referendums that were dismissed by Kyiv and the West as fraudulent.

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