Russian President Vladimir Putin has proclaimed the annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions at a signing ceremony in the Kremlin.
Ukraine, Western countries and the United Nations secretary-general have denounced the move, which represents a major escalation in the war that began with Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Ukraine Territories annexed by Russia
Russia has annexed the following territories of Ukraine:
The signing ceremony came three days after the completion of Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” in the four regions, which are largely or partly occupied by Russian or Russian-backed forces.
Moscow’s proxies in the occupied regions have claimed majorities of up to 99 percent in favour of joining Russia. Western governments and Kyiv have dismissed the hastily organised votes as breaching international law, and charge they were coercive and wholly unrepresentative.