Following a referendum conducted on areas that were a part of Ukraine, Russia’s Vladimir Putin will host a signing ceremony on Friday formally annexing these four additional territories of Ukraine after referendums condemned by Ukraine and the West.

Why this is happening
Elections were held in the eastern cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south to determine if they wanted to be a part of Russia or still stay in Ukraine. The EU and other foreign bodies condemned the move but Russian-backed officials had earlier claimed that the five-day exercise had almost universal public backing. There was no independent supervision of the procedure, and there were reports of election officials being escorted from door to door by armed soldiers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver a significant speech at the Kremlin. To formalize the annexation.

The scenario is reminiscent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, which similarly followed a sham referendum and was announced by a staged presidential victory speech. The vast majority of the international community has never recognized that initial annexation. There is no confirmation that Mr. Putin will do a comparable outdoor speech.

Going forward
The US has stated that penalties will be imposed on Russia as a result of the staged referendums, while EU member states are preparing an eighth round of sanctions, including punishment on anyone participating in the ballots.

Any of the four areas that Russia has chosen to acquire is not entirely under its authority. Despite the fact that Russia still has the majority of Luhansk, barely 60% of Donetsk is under its control.

War rages on the front lines in all four regions seven months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine from the north, east, and south. The government of Ukraine has firm control over the Zaporizhzhia region’s capital, and a counteroffensive is currently underway in Kherson.

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