Vladimir Putin has already signed the decrees that determine the annexation of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporijia and Kherson to Russia. The Russian leader said, in a speech in Moscow, that “this is the will of millions of people”, adding that it is “definitive”.
In his speech, the Russian president spoke of the referendums held last week. “The results have arrived and the results are known,” Putin said. “People have made their choice and it’s the ultimate choice.” The head of state declared that “there are four new regions of Russia” and that the annexation of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporyzhia and Kherson “is the will of millions of people” and is their “full right”, as stated in the UN letter.
The Russian leader warned the West that from now on, the people of Kherson, Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporyzhia “become our citizens forever”.
Putin claimed that the population of the Donbass region was “victims of inhumane terrorist attacks conducted by the Kiev regime” and called on Ukraine to immediately cease all military actions and the war “which started in 2014”. Kiev must “return to the negotiating table,” Putin continued. “We are open to that and we have said it many times,” he added, warning that the Ukrainian authorities must “respect the expression of the people’s will.”
“We will protect our land with all our strength and we will do everything to ensure people’s safety,” he guaranteed.
The Russian leader called for a moment of silence for all those who fought in what he continues to call a “special military operation”. “All the heroes of the special military operation. They are heroes. They are heroes of great Russia.”
Putin accuses West of trying to divide Russia
The Russian president echoed earlier allegations that the West is trying to weaken Russia. “In 1991, the West believed that the USSR would not come back. And we had terrible years in the 90s, but Russia resisted, became more powerful and took its rightful place. But the West is looking for new opportunities to hit us. and always dreamed of dividing our state into smaller states that will fight against each other”, accused the Russian leader in his speech. “Russia is a great country, it is a great civilization and it will not continue to live under these false rules.”
Putin accused the West of being “greedy” and wanting Russia to be a “colony”. “They don’t want to see us as a free society. They want to see us as a crowd of slaves.”
Mentioning nuclear weapons, the head of state also said that the US created a precedent by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
Russia announced on Thursday that Putin would sign today the formal annexation of four occupied territories in Ukraine after holding referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporyzhia and Kherson.