Putin signs agreement to annex four Ukrainian regions
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to include four Ukrainian regions controlled by Russian forces, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, during a grand ceremony held in the Kremlin.
After that, he clasped the hands of the leaders of the areas under the control of Russian forces, appointed by Moscow, on a podium in the presence of elite figures in Russia and chanted "Russia! Russia!".
Putin annexed the territories despite Western warnings and the fact that Russian forces do not fully control them.
The Russian president noted that the residents of the four regions "chosen with one vote" to join Russia after the referendums organized by Moscow.
"I want to say to the Kyiv regime and its masters in the West: the residents of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia will forever become our citizens," he said.
In a letter preceding the signing of the treaties, Putin demanded that Ukrainian forces cease all military operations.
"We call on the Kyiv regime to immediately stop fighting, stop all hostilities... and return to the negotiating table," he said.
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