“Victory will be ours!” shouted the President of Russia to the applause of a crowd of thousands.
“Welcome home!” – Putin said, addressing the residents of the annexed Ukrainian territories, believing that they “returned to their historical homeland.”
“Russia does not just open the doors of its home to people, it opens its heart,” he said from a stage specially installed on the symbolic square near the Kremlin wall (the residence of the President of Russia).
Many Russian flags fluttered among the crowd in attendance, and some people also wore black and orange striped St. George ribbons, an old tsarist military award that became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.
Several giant screens and a powerful sound system were also installed so that people could follow the speech of the President of Russia and the performance of various Russian pop stars who performed on stage.
The Russian head of state, in power for 22 years, referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” at a time when Russian soldiers are “heroically defending the people’s choice” in Ukraine, he said.
“We will do everything to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporozhye, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, improve their security, restart the economy, restore,” he also said, hours after signing the annexation of these four Ukrainian regions, in a ceremony in the Kremlin.
After this symbolic act in the Kremlin, which was a new step in his war against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country, Putin defended his mantra with a raised microphone that Russia created modern Ukraine.
“I can’t help but remember how the Soviet Union was formed. It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, transferring significant territories there, the historical territories of Russia itself along with the population,” Putin said.
“We are stronger because we are together. The truth is with us, and there is strength,” Putin said, adding once again: “Then victory will be ours!”
Kyiv and its Western allies have widely condemned such an annexation, with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Western defense bloc) classifying it as “illegitimate” and the countries of the European Union (EU) and the G7 (a group of the most industrialized countries in the world : Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the UK) declared that they would “never recognize [tais] alleged annexations.
Putin has no intention of visiting the four Ukrainian regions now annexed by Moscow in the midst of a military conflict with Kyiv, a Kremlin spokesman said.
“Not yet, because at the moment there is a lot of work ahead, but this will definitely happen after some time,” said Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Russian news agencies and asked about the possibility of such a visit.
The four occupied regions of Ukraine, whose annexation treaties Putin signed today, make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory – Donetsk and Lugansk (which he had already recognized as independent republics shortly before the invasion of Ukraine), Kherson and Zaporozhye (which hosts the largest nuclear power plant in Europe). ).
The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries – according to the latest UN figures, which rank this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).
The Russian invasion, justified by Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions against Russia.
The UN has presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war, which entered its 219th day today, 5,996 civilians killed and 8,848 wounded, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.