Moscow to formally annex four Ukraine regions Friday

Moscow will formally annex four Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine at a Kremlin ceremony tomorrow, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says.

“Tomorrow in the Georgian Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace at 15:00 (1200 GMT) a signing ceremony will take place on the incorporation of the new territories into Russia,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov says.

He adds that the Russian leader will make a major speech at the event.

Moscow organized what it called referendums in Ukrainian territories under its control — Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — with Kremlin-installed officials saying this week residents backed joining Russia.

A woman smiles as she votes with her children at a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People’s Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, Ukraine, September 27, 2022. (AP Photo)

All four Moscow-backed leaders of the regions said they were in Moscow and expecting a meeting with Putin.

The West has warned Russia not to press ahead with he annexations, with the G7 saying it would “never recognize” the move.

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