Putin Illegally Claims Annexation of Ukrainian Regions
This will only escalate the war
Amid patriotic pageantry hyped up by the fervor of war, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, a flagrant violation of international law that stands to escalate and prolong the military conflict in Ukraine, sharpen Moscow’s confrontation with the West and add to the Kremlin’s growing global isolation.
At a ceremony in the gilded Grand Kremlin Palace, attended by senior political and military officials, members of parliament and even Russian war bloggers, Putin on Friday signed so-called accession treaties to absorb the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Patriotic music played ahead of the signing ritual, in which Putin sat at one white gold-trimmed desk and four proxy leaders of the occupied regions sat at another. Once the documents were signed, Putin and the four proxy leaders held hands and chanted, "Russia! Russia! Russia!" to cheers and applause from the audience.
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