Vladimir Putin signing treaties to make Ukrainian regions part of Russia tomorrow
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Featured Image Credit: Peter Cavanagh / Alamy Stock Photo / REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Vladimir Putin is set to sign four treaties which will allow eastern regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Zaporizhzhia region, the Kherson region, the Luhansk region and Donetsk will be officially incorporated in a ceremony at the Kremlin’s St. George’s Hall, which Putin will attend along with the heads of the four regions.
The heads will join the Russian president in signing the treaties after completing five days of voting on Tuesday (27 September), with Moscow claiming residents showed overwhelming support to join Russia.
Throughout the five days of voting, armed troops are said to have gone door-to-door with election officials.
Administrations in the four regions claimed on Tuesday that support was shown in 93 percent of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhia region, 87 percent in the Kherson region, 98 percent in the Luhansk region and 99 percent in Donetsk.
Up to four million people in the four regions were asked to vote, as well as refugees scattered across Russia who were able to vote at dozens of polling stations, including in Crimea.
The Ukrainian government and the West have slammed the referendums as illegal, claiming they would refuse to recognise the results of the votes.
Following the Kremlin's announcement on Thursday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock commented: "Under threats and sometimes even (at) gunpoint people are being taken out of their homes or workplaces to vote in glass ballot boxes.
"This is the opposite of free and fair elections. And this is the opposite of peace. It’s dictated peace. As long as this Russian diktat prevails in the occupied territories of Ukraine, no citizen is safe. No citizen is free.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of 'brutally violating the UN statute' by attempting to seize the regions, saying: "This farce in the occupied territory cannot even be called an imitation of referendums."
He went on to describe the vote as a 'very cynical attempt to force men in the occupied territory of Ukraine to mobilise into the Russian army in order to send them to fight against their own homeland'.
The events call to mind Putin's previous claim that Crimea had joined Russia in March 2014 a few days after a similar referendum.
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