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Watch Live: Putin Declares Annexation Of Eastern Ukraine

Watch Live: Putin Declares Annexation Of Eastern Ukraine

Just ahead of a Friday ceremony declaring the official annexations of the four occupied Ukrainian regions which held controversial referendums, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed two decrees which recognized the “independence” of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

“Recognize the state sovereignty and independence” of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions “effective from the day of signing,” the two decrees stated. This paved the way for Friday’s ceremony where he’s expected to give a major speech which will incorporate those two territories plus Donetsk and Luhansk. WATCH Putin’s speech declaring annexation live:

According to Russian state media, “In the documents, Putin refers to the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, and the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter.”

In contrast to this Kremlin perspective, Western officials and media sources are slamming the big ‘land grab’ – which comes at a moment the entirety of these territories are not yet under Russian military control. A White House statement said in response to the “sham” referendums, “The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine. Russia’s referenda are a sham – a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter.”

Putin said in a televised meeting with officials on Tuesday as voting closed in the four regions: “Saving people in the territories where this referendum is taking place… is the focus of the attention of our entire society and of the entire country.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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