Putin rails against Western ‘dictatorship’ as he declares four Ukrainian regions as Russian

Vladimir Putin has railed against Western “dictatorship” as he declared Russian rule over four regions of Ukraine.
It is the biggest forced occupation since the Second World War.

Speaking at the Kremlin, the Russian president said the people of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk had “made their choice” during a series of referendums described by Kyiv and the West as a “sham”.
But Mr Putin claimed the results were “definitive”, adding: “This is the will of millions of people. This is their right, their integral right.”
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Earlier this week, pro-Moscow officials said 93% of the ballots cast in Zaporizhzhia were in support of annexation, as were 87% of ballots in the southern Kherson region, 98% in Luhansk and 99% in Donetsk.
Mr Putin said what had happened was “emphasised in the principles of United Nations”, and amounted to the “self-determination of people”.
He also urged the “Kyiv regime to immediately cease hostilities and return to the negotiation table”.
Regarding the people of the Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk) the Russian president claimed they were “victims of inhumane terrorist attacks conducted by the Kyiv regime”.

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Expanding on his theme, he claimed that for years, people there had been “subjected to genocide and shelling”.
He added: “In Kherson, they tried to cultivate hatred for Russia. And, lately, the Kyiv regime threatened death and punishment to teachers.
“They were threatening repressions to the millions of people who supported Russia.”
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said attacks against any part of the affected regions would be interpreted as acts of aggression against Russia itself.
Prime Minister Liz Truss has said the UK will never consider the regions as “anything other than Ukrainian territory”.
She added that Mr Putin had “acted in violation of international law” and had “clear disregard for the lives of the Ukrainian people he claims to represent”.
The PM continued: “Putin cannot be allowed to alter international borders using brute force. We will ensure he loses this illegal war.”
US President Joe Biden has said the referendums’ results were “manufactured in Moscow”, describing them as a “flagrant violation of the UN charter”.

Source : Sky News