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Putin enacts legislation annexing four regions of Ukraine

Putin enacts legislation annexing four regions of Ukraine

Kyiv: Four Ukrainian territories have been annexed by Russia as a result of laws approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, completing an illegal annexation carried out in defiance of international laws.

On Wednesday morning, the documents were posted on a Russian government website.

This week, the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia districts became a part of Russia as a result of treaties passed by both houses of the Russian parliament. The formality came after four "referendums" that were staged by the Kremlin and were subsequently denounced as shams by Ukraine and the West.

The action coincides with the beginning of a new, riskier phase in Moscow's conflict in Ukraine. With Ukrainian forces retaking more and more territory in the east and south, which are the very places Moscow has pushed to annex, Russia is suffering growing setbacks on the battlefield.

The Kremlin has threatened to protect Russia's territory, including the recently absorbed regions, with all means at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, despite the fact that the borders of the territories it is claiming are still unclear.

In response to the annexation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared a fast-track application to join NATO and explicitly ruled out discussions with Russia. The proclamation issued by Zelenskyy on Tuesday states that due to Putin's decision to seize control of the four regions of Ukraine, conversations with him are no longer viable, Associated Press reported.

According to regional leader Oleksiy Kuleba on Telegram, several explosions on the battlefield on Wednesday morning shook Bila Tserkva and set fire to what was described as infrastructure facilities in the city to the south of the capital Kyiv.

According to early reports, so-called "kamikaze" or suicide drones struck the city, he claimed.

The city of Bila Tserkva lies 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Kyiv.

In recent weeks, Russia has used suicide drones more frequently, presenting a fresh threat to Ukrainian defences. The unmanned vehicles can hover for extended periods of time before launching themselves at their targets and detonating their payload just before impact.

Many of the previous drone assaults by Iranian-made aircraft took place in the country's south rather than close to the capital, which hasn't been attacked in weeks.

The city, one of the biggest in the area after Kyiv itself, was targeted by a total of six Shahed-136 drones, according to a later post by Kuleba. The assaults resulted in one individual being hurt.

Hours after the attacks were reported, he claimed, dozens of rescue personnel were still on the site putting out fires.

In the meantime, Ukrainian forces kept advancing in the south. The military of Kyiv announced on Wednesday that as part of their extensive counteroffensive they have retaken more villages in the Kherson region.

The Ukrainian flag has been flown over the villages of Liubymivka, Khreschenivka, Zolota Balka, Biliaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka, and Mala Oleksandrivka, according to Operational Command South.

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TAGS:UkraineVladimir PutinZelenskyRussian
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