Vladimir Putin annexes 4 Ukrainian areas

Vladimir Putin annexed 4 areas of southeastern Ukraine and vowed to make use of ‘all means’ at Russia’s disposal to defend the territory in a speech that marked an additional escalation in his conflict on Kyiv and his resentment in the direction of his Western allies.

At a ceremony marking the transfer on Friday, the Russian president referred to as Ukraine to barter an finish to the conflict – however reserved his biggest anger for Kyiv’s ‘true masters’ within the west, whom he accused of making an attempt to ‘destroy’ Russia.

The annexations are a dramatic try to lift the stakes of the battle by inserting it below Russia’s nuclear umbrella.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, responding to Putin on Friday, introduced that his nation had formally requested accelerated membership of NATO’s army alliance.

“At this time, right here in Kyiv, within the coronary heart of our nation, we’re taking a decisive step for the safety of all the neighborhood of free peoples,” Zelenskyy stated in a video tackle exterior his workplace. “We’re taking a decisive step by signing Ukraine’s utility for accelerated NATO membership.”

Map showing Ukraine and Russia annexing four regions of Ukraine

Within the 37-minute speech within the ornate St George Corridor of the Kremlin, Cheese fries stated an assault on the 4 areas, which he now thought-about a part of his nation’s territory, can be handled as an assault on Russia and met with full power.

“We’ll defend our lands with all of the means at our disposal and do every thing to guard our folks. That is our nice liberating mission,” he stated.

Putin stated Russia was keen to carry peace talks with Ukraine, however declared the 4 areas – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – barred from any future negotiations following swiftly organized ‘referendums’ .

“Individuals have made their alternative, an unambiguous alternative,” Putin stated, describing the votes, which had been met with worldwide condemnation, as “the need of hundreds of thousands of individuals.”

“The inhabitants of Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia develop into our residents. Perpetually,” Putin stated. “The present Kyiv authorities ought to deal with the free expression of will of those folks with respect and nothing else. Solely then can there be a path to peace.

As he spoke, Ukrainian troops pushed additional east into northeast Donetsk, approaching across the city of Lymana key step for the Russian forces.

Vladimir Putin with the leaders installed in Russia
President Vladimir Putin, middle, within the Kremlin on Friday with the Russian-installed leaders in Ukraine’s 4 areas © Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik/AP

Russia doesn’t totally management any of the 4 annexed areas and has pledged to “liberate” no less than two of them from Ukraine’s grip as Kyiv continues its counter-offensive.

Kremlin officers have stated Russia might deal with additional Ukrainian makes an attempt to retake the areas as an assault on its sovereignty and reply through the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Though Putin made no reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which he threatened to make use of when he introduced the annexations final week, he accused the USA of making a ” earlier” by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the finish of World Conflict II. .

However the bulk of the president’s speech was dedicated to ranting in opposition to the West. It lined subjects as different as Western sanctions, European imperial historical past, crude jokes about intercourse reassignment operations, and accusations that the “Anglo-Saxons” had attacked. two fuel pipelines within the Baltic this week.

Whereas citing Russia’s imperial and Soviet previous as justification for seizing Ukrainian territories, Putin issued a rallying cry to finish US hegemony by means of an “anti-colonial motion” led by Moscow.

“They’re blatantly dividing the world between their vassals and everybody else,” Putin stated, accusing the Western elite of being “colonial” and “racist”.

“The West is searching for new methods to strike at our nation, to weaken and destroy Russia,” he added. “They only cannot stand that there’s such a giant nation with its territory, wealthy pure sources and individuals who will not stay by anybody else’s guidelines.”

Putin claimed Russia had defeated a “sanctions blitzkrieg” and warned different nations might face comparable restrictions.

“They thought they might rebuild the entire world. However it seems not everyone seems to be so enthusiastic about this rosy future. Solely absolute masochists and followers of different non-traditional types of worldwide relations,” Putin stated, making a homophobic quip.

“We heard in regards to the lockdown from Russia, China and Iran. We consider that nations in Latin America and the Center East will quickly be a part of this listing,” he added. “Everyone seems to be inside their perimeter, together with our neighbors” within the former USSR, a lot of whom distanced themselves from Moscow in the course of the conflict.

Putin expressed hope that the EU would drop its assist for Ukraine because it prepares for a troublesome winter with out Russian power provides.

“Politicians in Europe should persuade their residents to clean much less and warmth their houses themselves. And when requested why they had been pointing the finger at Russia,” he stated.

“You possibly can’t feed folks paper {dollars} and euros,” Putin stated. “You possibly can’t heat folks up with inflated scores – you want energy sources.”