Putin announces annexation of four oblasts: “They will be our citizens forever”
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions in a ceremony held in the Kremlin on Friday.
Russia’s annexation decision comes after annexation referenda were held in the four oblasts between 23 and 27 September.
Putin said: “We will not discuss the choice of the people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. That has been made. Russia will not betray them.”
Putin had recognized the “independence” of Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson on Thursday. Russia had also recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics on February 21, three days before the invasion of Ukraine.
In the ceremony, Putin sent a message to Kyiv: “I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me so that they remember this. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens forever.”
Putin then signed the agreements of admission of the four regions to Russia with the Russian-appointed heads of the regions. After the annexation ceremony, Putin and our leaders of the Russian-occupied regions chanted “Russia, Russia, Russia!”