Headline RoundupSeptember 29th, 2022

Putin to Formally Annex 4 Ukrainian Regions

AllSides Summary

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will formally annex the 4 Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson from Ukraine. In an announcement made on Thursday, the Kremlin stated that Putin would sign "accession treaties" at the Grand Kremlin Palace that day, though Russia does not fully control these regions politically or militarily. After five days of voting, however, Moscow-installed regional officials are claiming a monumental show of support for this seizure of Ukrainian property, while Ukraine and the West are condemning the "sham" referendum.

This move comes in defiance of stern international warnings, including from the United States, and could close the door on diplomacy for a number of years. It will certainly escalate the war in Ukraine, with Kyiv insisting it will continue to fight to reclaim its territories, and Western allies promising additional economic assistance and more weapons. Putin has already raised fears of a long conflict with NATO, with the sabotage this week of two Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, his intention to deploy 300,000 additional troops to Ukraine, and his threat of the use of nuclear weapons to defend Ukrainian territories absorbed into Russia.

Sources from across the political spectrum are covering the latest moves by Russia.

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