Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law, new measures that will annex four Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation.
The annexations of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are illegal under EU, UN and international law and the signing comes after leaders around the world have said the annexations are the result of “sham” referendums held at gunpoint, and will never be recognized.
However, the move is an important step in Russia’s effort to seize control in Ukraine, with Putin claiming that the will of occupied Ukrainians is to belong to Russia.
US and NATO officials have previously suggested that Putin will likely seek to reframe Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the four regions and any others as an attack on Russia sovereignty. As Russia does not fully control the regions it claims to have annexed.
Moscow is also losing territory to the Ukrainian military in the south and east of the country by the day.
Kyiv on Wednesday October 5, dismissed the laws that Russian President Vladimir signed to formalise annexation as “worthless”.
“The worthless decisions of the terrorist country are not worth the paper they are signed on,” head of the Ukraine President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said on Telegram.
“A collective insane asylum can continue to live in a fictional world.”
President Zelenskyy said in his nightly address that he had signed a decree rendering void any of Putin’s acts designed to annex Ukrainian territories since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“Any Russian decisions, any treaties with which they try to seize our land — all this is worthless,” Zelenskyy said at the end of his video address.
A regional Ukrainian official in the Zaporizhzhia region said on Tuesday that Russia was trying to establish a “state border” at the Vasylivka checkpoint, which separates Russian-held territory from the rest of Ukraine, including the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia.