Home / News / World /  ‘Russia would defend its new territory': Putin after announcing annexation

Moments after Russia announced the annexation of Ukrainian territory, President Vladimir Putin denied seeking to revive the Soviet Union and said that the nation would defend its new territory with all the means at its disposal, according to the news agency Reuters. 

“Russia would defend its new territory with all the means at its disposal, remarks that could signal an escalation in the conflict with Ukraine," said Putin in a speech from the Kremlin to hundreds of Russia's top politicians. 

Putin said Russia had ‘four new regions’ as he announced Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions including eastern and southern provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia that Moscow's forces have partially seized during a seven-month conflict with Ukraine.

The annexations were declared after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and unrepresentative, as per Reuters reports. 

Moscow's planned annexation of eastern and southern provinces after what Ukraine and Western countries said were sham votes staged at gunpoint in occupied areas. The world leaders have strongly objected to this move.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said the planned annexations were a "dangerous escalation" and jeopardize prospects for peace.

Joe Biden said that the US would never recognize Russia’s claims on Ukraine’s territory, and denounced the fake referendums as an “absolute sham," saying, “The results were manufactured in Moscow."

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised a strong response to the annexations and summoned his defence and security chiefs for an emergency meeting on Friday. 

Thousands of Russian men have fled in the week since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization to bolster struggling Russian forces in Ukraine. Although Putin said the callup was “partial," aimed at calling up about 300,000 men with past military service, many fear it will be much broader and more arbitrary.

 

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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