In one of the biggest changes since the start of the war in Ukraine, on Friday (30) Russian President Vladimir Putin will announce the annexation of four Ukrainian regions representing 15% of the neighboring country’s territory.
This announcement will be made on Thursday (29) during a signing ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday (29) to add Ukrainian lands to Russia, a Kremlin spokesman said.
Russian-backed officials in four regions of Ukraine said the polls showed the vast majority of their residents voted to join Russia in votes that Ukraine and the West have criticized as a “farce”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the ceremony will take place at 3 pm Moscow time on Friday (9 am EST) “for agreements on accession of new territories to the Russian Federation.”
The Kremlin said Putin will also deliver a grand speech on Friday after the Kremlin’s signing ceremony and meet with Moscow-appointed administrators for the Ukrainian regions.
Peskov said the agreements would be signed “with all four regions that held referendums and made similar demands on the Russian side.”
Ukraine and the West rejected hastily organized elections, which were held seven months after the Russian invasion, calling them illegal fraud.
After the signing ceremony in the Kremlin, the Kremlin said, Putin will deliver a grand speech and meet with officials appointed by Moscow in the Ukrainian regions.
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