Setting aside the Western propaganda and pressure, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced annexation of four Ukranian regions at a lavish Kremlin ceremony on Friday.
Putin annexed four regions of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – after conducting a referendum.
Speaking at the ceremony, Putin said he had signed laws to absorb the new regions despite international pressure.
Putin said Moscow will now protect the newly incorporated regions.
“We will defend our lands with all the means at our disposal and do everything to protect our people. This is our great liberating mission,” he said.
Putin also called on Zelensky to negotiate an end to the eight-month war noting that all options were on the table, except the return of the annexed regions.
“People made their choice,” Putin defended the referendum and termed it as “the will of millions of people” and promised to grant them Russian citizenship.
He also volleyed at Kyiv’s “real masters” residing in western capitals as he accused them of harboring plans to “destroy” Russia.