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‘Not striving for Soviet Union’s return,’ says President Putin as Russia formally annexes four Ukrainian regions

Source : Firstpost

'Not striving for Soviet Union's return,' says President Putin as Russia formally annexes four Ukrainian regions
Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday signed an accord to formally annex four Ukrainian regions to Russia.


New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed an accord to formally annex four Ukrainian regions to Russia.

The ceremony to announce the annexation of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia- was held at a grand ceremony in the Kremlin.

Post the signing of the accord, Putin joined hands with the Moscow-installed heads of the regions on a stage and chanted alongside them “Russia! Russia!”.

Notably, Putin said that Russia was “not striving” to recreate the Soviet Union.

“The USSR is no more. We can’t bring the past back. And Russia doesn’t need it anymore. We are not striving towards that,” Putin said, after earlier claiming the last Soviet leaders had “destroyed our great country”.

Putin added that the people living in the four regions are “Russian citizens forever” and any attack on the annexed regions will be an “attack on Russia.”

The ceremony comes three days after the completion of Kremlin-backed “referendums” on joining Russia that were dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a “land grab.”

The separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine have been backed by Moscow since declaring independence in 2014, weeks after the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The southern Kherson region and part of the neighboring Zaporizhzhia were taken by Russia soon after Putin sent troops into Ukraine on 24 February.

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