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Russia’s Annexed 4 Ukrainian Provinces

  • Published
    30th Sep, 2022
Context

President Vladimir Putin plans to declare recently that some 40,000 square miles of eastern and southern Ukraine will become part of Russia — an annexation broadly denounced by the West, but a signal that the Russian leader is prepared to raise the stakes in the 7-month-old war.

About

Russia’s Proposal:

  • The four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia) that held so-called "referendums" on joining Russia will be incorporated into the country.
  • The Kremlin plans to declare the land where battles are raging in all four regions to be Russian territory and to assert that it is defending, not attacking, in the war in Ukraine.
  • Annexing the provinces would be used as a rationale for drafting Ukrainian men living there to fight other Ukrainians in the war, helping to solve a shortage of troops in the Russian army.
  • Crimea was similarly illegally annexed in 2014, after a similar "referendum."


Opposition from international community:

  • The United States, its European allies and many other countries oppose Russia’s nuclear saber rattling and say that allowing a country to capture new territory militarily sets a destabilizing precedent. 
  • Western allies of Ukraine say the supposed referendums showing support for uniting with Russia were a sham, as some residents of occupied areas were forced to vote at gunpoint, and a large portion of the population had fled as internally displaced people or refugees. The final tallies could also have easily been falsified.
  • Finland will close its border to Russian tourists. The decision in principle aims to completely prevent Russian tourism to Finland and the related transit through Finland.
  • NATO said leaks from the Nord Stream gas pipelines appeared to be sabotage and vowed a "determined response" to any attacks on their critical infrastructure.
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