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Russia annexes the occupied territories in Ukraine – Europe – International

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, presides this Friday in the Kremlin the act of annexation of the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, which will also be attended by the pro-Russian leaders of the separatist territories.

(Also read: Russian recruit breaks an arm to avoid going to war with Ukraine)

Earlier this morning, Putin recognized the independence of the southern Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia, a step prior to their annexation by Russia.

The separatist consultations, which were held from September 23 to 27, were legitimized by the Kremlin, but condemned by kyiv and the West as democratic “farces”.

‘Victory will be ours’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia will achieve “victory” in its conflict with Ukraine, during a ceremony in Moscow’s Red Square celebrating the annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

“Victory will be ours,” launched the Russian president to the applause of thousands of supporters, some waving Russian flags. “Welcome home,” Putin declared, addressing the inhabitants of the annexed Russian territories, and considered that they returned “to their historical homeland.”.

“Russia does not only open the doors of its house to these people, it opens its heart,” he said from a specially installed stage in the emblematic Kremlin square.

Putin this Friday.
Photo:

YURI KOCHETKOV. AFP

Among the crowd present, many Russian flags were seen, according to an AFP journalist. Some people also wore black and orange striped Saint George ribbons, a former tsarist military decoration that later became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Several large screens and powerful sound systems were also installed to enable people to follow the Russian president’s speech and several Russian music stars who performed on stage. “We have become stronger because we are together,” Putin declared, microphone in hand.

We have become stronger because we are together

The Russian president referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” when Russian soldiers, according to him, “heroically defend the decision of the people” in Ukraine.

“We will do everything possible to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporizhia, Kherson, Lugansk and Donetsk, to improve their security, relaunch the economy, build,” he said hours after signing the annexation of those four Ukrainian regions in a ceremony in the Kremlin.

key dates

Since Russia began the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, these are some of the important dates in the process that has led to the annexation of these areas:

The beginning of the invasion, February 15: After the escalation of tension in Ukraine, the Duma approves an appeal to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

February 21: Putin recognizes the independence of the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, and decrees the deployment of soldiers to these territories, which triggers international rejection.

February 24: Russia begins the invasion of Ukraine. In a televised speech, President Putin said that “the Donbas people’s republics approached Russia with a request for help: “in connection with this (…) I made a decision to conduct a special military operation.” Putin said that Russia did not plan the occupation of Ukrainian territories, but it supported the right of the peoples of Ukraine to self-determination.

March 1: Russia invades Kherson (Black Sea) and continues the siege of Mariupol, a strategic port in the south of the country.

March 4: Russia attacks Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhia, to the south, and five days later takes control of Chernobyl.

March 31: NATO assures that Russian troops are not withdrawing but regrouping in the east. Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues near kyiv, in Chernigov and in Donbas.

April 11: pro-Russian militias take the port of Mariupol. April 19: Russia announces the second phase of its war in Ukraine to liberate Donbas.

May 25: Russia accelerates its offensive in Donbas towards the strategic enclave of Severodonetsk, a key stronghold to neutralize Ukrainian troops in Donetsk.

May 30 – Russians enter Severodonetsk to control Lugansk.

June 24: Moscow claims to have taken control of 10 towns in five days in Lugansk.

June 25 – Russia completely takes Severodonetsk after the withdrawal of Ukrainian soldiers.

July 3: Russia takes Lisichansk and with it all of Lugansk, after taking control of a refinery and other industrial areas.

July 16: Russia increases its attacks on Donetsk, with Siversk in the crosshairs.

July 17 – Russian troops bombard Ukrainian positions at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant 61 times.

July 24-28: Ukrainian forces advance towards Kherson, after days of shelling the bridges over the Dnieper River.

August 13 – Heavy Russian fighting in Donetsk and Zaporizhia, though Russian offensive in Donbas stalls.

August 29: An IAEA mission leaves for Zaporizhia. At the same time, the Ukraine begins a large-scale counteroffensive in Kherson.

September 5: Zaporizhia disconnects its last reactor from the Ukrainian power grid after several bombardments in the area.

September 11: Putin defends before the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in a telephone conversation, the closure of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

September 11: the IAEA confirms the blackout of the reactors at the Zaporizhia plant, under Russian occupation.

September 12 – The Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated about 500 square kilometers of territory in the south of the country from Russian occupation, according to Nataliya Humenyuk, head of the press center for the joint coordination of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine.

September 12: the pro-Russian authorities in Kherson say that the Ukrainian army has not recovered “not one meter” of territory in that region.

September 13: Zelenski assures that in September the Ukrainian forces have liberated “more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory” in the east and south of the country.

September 20: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Duma support the holding of integration referendums with Russia in the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and in the occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia.

September 20: The parliaments of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, recognized by the Kremlin last February, call a referendum on integration with Russia from September 23 to 27.

September 22: NATO maintains that it will not recognize Russia’s annexation of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson

September 27: Four-day referendums on annexation to Russia in four regions of Ukraine end.

The Ukrainian government denounces the pressure on the population, while Moscow reports that a majority of voters are in favor of annexation to Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry indicates the support of 99.23% of voters in the Donetsk People’s Republic; 98.42% in the Lugansk People’s Republic; 93.11% in the Zaporizhia region and 87.05% in the Kherson region

INTERNATIONAL WRITING

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