(CNN Spanish) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that “there is nothing stronger than the determination of these peoples to return to their true historical homeland,” during the ceremony for the annexation of four regions in the south and east of Ukraine held in Moscow.
During the speech, Putin formally announced the Kremlin’s intention to annex almost a fifth of Ukraine, in flagrant violation of international law.
The ceremony comes after referendums held by Moscow-backed officials in eastern and southern Ukraine on the territories’ accession to Russia. The votes are illegal under international law and have been rejected by Ukraine and Western nations such as “a farce”.
The annexation includes the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, raised against Ukraine in 2014, as well as the territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia, occupied by Russia after its invasion that began on February 24 of this year.
“People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia are becoming our citizens. Forever,” Putin added.
This is developing news.
With information from Joshua Berlinger, Anna Chernova.
Source: CNN Espanol