Headline RoundupSeptember 30th, 2022

Putin Declares Annexation as Zelenskyy Submits NATO Application

AllSides Summary

The war between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate. In a speech given on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four regions in eastern Ukraine— portions of which are not fully controlled by Moscow forces— and reiterated threats to Kyiv and Western Governments of Russia’s determination to win this war at all costs. In response to this, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted an application to fast-track Ukraine into the NATO Alliance.

Western Countries have kept quiet about Zelenskyy’s NATO application, which if accepted, would pull the bulk of Western Europe and the United States into direct conflict with Russia under Article 5 of the alliance, which deems an attack on one member an attack on all. Western leaders were vocal in their condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian land, which was justified by a referendum deemed a “sham” by the West. Putin’s speech framed the conflict as an existential battle to preserve the Russian state, drawing connections to past Russian leaders and former glory in an attempt to fuel national fervor and gain support for a war that has been riddled with dysfunction, desertion and defeats for the Russian military. The United States, which Putin mentioned directly in his speech, responded to the annexations with another round of sanctions, further severing economic ties that have grown since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The litany of developments was covered extensively across the spectrum, with most focus on Putin’s fiery speech and its implications.

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