Putin Illegally Annexes Ukraine Land; Kyiv Seeks NATO Entry - worldsnews
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Putin Illegally Annexes Ukraine Land; Kyiv Seeks NATO Entry

AP — KYIV, Ukraine In a drastic escalation of his seven-month invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on Friday to unlawfully seize further occupied Ukrainian land. The president of Ukraine responded by unexpectedly submitting an application to join the NATO armed alliance.

Fears of a full-fledged clash between Russia and the West are increasing as a result of Putin's land grab and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's signature of what he called a "expedited" NATO membership application. These two events drove the two leaders rushing closer toward each other.

At a Kremlin signing ceremony, Putin reaffirmed his nuclear-backed threat to preserve the recently acquired parts of Ukraine by "all possible measures." He also raged angrily against the West, charging that the United States and its allies wanted to destroy Russia.

Zelenskyy then conducted a signing ceremony of his own in Kyiv, sharing footage of him signing what he claimed to be a legitimate application for NATO membership.

Putin has made it quite apparent that any possibility of Ukraine joining the strongest military alliance in the world is one of his red lines and used it as justification for his invasion, which is the largest land conflict in Europe since World War II.

In his speech, Putin urged Ukraine to begin peace negotiations, but he vowed to avoid bringing up the subject of returning seized territory. There would be no discussions with Putin, according to Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian president declared, "We are prepared for a discussion with Russia, but... with another president of Russia."

Putin charged the West with inciting hostilities at his signing ceremony in the opulent St. George's Hall of the Kremlin as part of a plot to make Russia into a "colony" and "crowds of slaves," according to Putin. Tensions in the battle, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries, were already at levels unseen since the Cold War, but his hardening of attitude ratcheted them up.

The response from the West was an onslaught of condemnation and threats of more sanctions on Russia. More than a thousand individuals and organizations, including the head of the Central Bank of Russia, were targeted by the United States with sanctions.

President Joe Biden remarked of Putin's annexation of the areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia: "Make no mistake: These acts have no legitimacy."

The "illegal annexation" was rejected and denounced by the European Union. The organization's 27 members vowed not to accept the illegitimate votes that Russia orchestrated "as a justification for this additional violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity."

It was "the greatest attempted takeover of European territory by force since the Second World War," according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Putin's move to annex more land—Russia now claims sovereignty over 15% of the nation—marks "the most severe escalation since the start of the conflict," according to him, and the fight is at "a key juncture."

In defiance of Putin's advice that Ukraine should not attempt to reclaim what it has lost, Zelenskyy promised to continue fighting.

The Ukrainian president declared that "this adversary will be expelled from our country's whole territory." "This is already known to Russia. It senses our might.

Because acceptance needs the unanimous consent of all members, the "accelerated" NATO application's immediate effects were unclear. Ukraine has, however, already moved closer to the alliance's orbit as a result of receiving Western weaponry.

De facto, Zelenskyy asserted, "We have already shown compliance with alliance requirements." "We trust one another, support one another, and safeguard one another."

Putin's Kremlin event took place three days after "referendums" on joining Russia that were arranged by Moscow and held in seized territories but were denounced by Kyiv and the West as a blatant land grab conducted under duress and based on fabrications.

Putin stressed that Ukraine handle the Kremlin-managed elections "with respect" in his impassioned remarks at the ceremony.

Following the signing of the treaties to join Russia, the leaders of the seized territories who had been placed by Moscow came around Putin and joined hands, chanting "Russia! Russia!" together with the audience.

As he charged that the United States and its allies wanted to destroy Russia, Putin struck a furious figure. He said that the West operated "like a parasite" and "robbed the entire planet" with its resources and advanced technology.

He presented Russia as being on a historical mission to recover its post-Soviet great power position and oppose what he saw was the collapsing Western dominance.

He declared, "History has summoned us to the field of war to fight for our people, for the great historic Russia, and for future generations.

Since announcing their independence in 2014, only weeks after the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine was annexed, the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine have received support from Moscow. Soon after Putin dispatched soldiers into Ukraine on February 24, Russia seized control of the southern Kherson area as well as a portion of the adjoining Zaporizhzhia.

The treaties for the regions to join Russia will be ratified by both chambers of the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament next week, and then sent to Putin for his approval.

Putin joined the celebration as thousands of people gathered in Red Square on Friday night for a performance and rally. As performers from Russia and the seized territories of Ukraine sang patriotic songs, many people waved Russian flags. According to a number of Russian media accounts, employees at state-run businesses and institutions were urged to show up, and students were given permission to miss class in exchange for their attendance.

Putin has cautioned Ukraine against launching an attack to retake the areas, claiming that Russia would consider such a move as an act of aggression. Moscow can heed these warnings because to the greatest nuclear arsenal in the world.

Putin made an unlawful annexation in an effort to prevent further military failures that would endanger his 22-year rule. He appears to want to terrify Ukraine and its Western allies with an escalating confrontation if they don't yield, which they show no indications of doing, by formalizing Russia's victories.

The majority of the Luhansk and Kherson areas are under Russian control, as are around 60% of the Donetsk region and a sizable portion of the Zaporizhzhia region, which is home to the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.

However, news of the impending Ukrainian encirclement of the eastern city of Lyman has the Kremlin on the edge of another painful military defeat. Taking it back might give Ukraine the opportunity to advance well into one of the annexations, Luhansk.

It seems quite pitiful. The Kremlin is creating some sort of virtual reality that is unable to react in the actual world, whereas Ukrainians are acting and moving forward in the physical world, according to former Kremlin speechwriter turned analyst Abbas Gallyamov.

People are aware that politics is currently being fought on the front lines, he continued. "Who moves forward and who pulls back matters. In that regard, the Kremlin is unable to provide Russians with any consolation.

According to the general prosecutor's office, Russia repeatedly attacked Ukrainian cities with missiles, rockets, and suicide drones. In one attack, 25 people were reportedly killed and 50 were injured. The coordinated salvos were Moscow's biggest onslaught in weeks.

The attack killed the people within the relief truck and left behind large holes and shrapnel. Buildings close by were destroyed. The victims were covered with trash bags, blankets, and, for one victim, a towel drenched in blood.

According to analysts, Putin was expected to increase assaults and draw more heavily on his limited supply of precise weapons as part of a plan to intensify the conflict and undermine Western backing.

Moscow's control over the battlefield has been undermined by an onslaught by the Ukrainians. Its control over the Luhansk area seems to be eroding as Ukrainian soldiers advance there and attack Lyman in a pincer motion. Additionally, Ukraine continues to maintain a sizable presence in the nearby Donetsk area.

According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has repurposed as ground-attack weapons have been raining down on people waiting in cars to cross into Russian-occupied territory so they can bring family members back across front lines.

Ukrainian military were blamed by Russian-installed officials in Zaporizhzhia, but no proof was provided.

There have also been reports of Russian attacks in Dnipro. Regional Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported that five people had been hurt and at least one had died.

The southern Ukrainian cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa, according to Ukraine's air force, were targeted by Iranian-made suicide drones that Russia has been using more frequently, ostensibly to prevent losing more pilots who don't have control of Ukraine's airspace.

Although there have been protests, Russia has sworn to protect its gains, threatening to use nuclear weapons and deploying an extra 300,000 troops. Ukraine has threatened to recover all of the land that it has been occupying.

The battle for Lyman, a crucial hub for Russian military activities in the Donbas and a prize for the Ukrainian counteroffensive, served as a reminder of this.

Denis Pushilin, the Donetsk rebel commander supported by Russia, said that Ukrainian forces have "half-encircled" the city.

He told the RIA Novosti news agency that "Ukraine's armed formations are working very hard to ruin our jubilation."