Russia to formally take over 4 Ukrainian regions into its territory on Friday, says Kremlin


The Kremlin-backed leaders of four Russian occupied regions of Ukraine were in Moscow.

Photo : AP

Moscow: The Kremlin on Thursday (IST) announced that four Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine will be folded into Russia on Friday (EST) following referendums, reported AP. The announcement comes after the Kremlin-backed leaders of four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine were spotted in Moscow on Thursday after calling on President Vladimir Putin to formally annex the territories into the country.

“I am already in Moscow,” Leonid Pasechnik, leader of the breakaway Lugansk region, told state news agency TASS on Thursday.

“A meeting with the president is, of course, scheduled. I don’t have this information now, I can’t say where, what, when,” Kirill Stremousov told a pro-Kremlin radio programme.

Ever since the breakout of the Russia-Crimea war in 2014, the Moscow-backed separatists have controlled large portions of Lugansk and neighbouring Donetsk. A Moscow-appointed official from the Kherson region said that a meeting is planned between Putin and the heads of the occupied territories.

Upset by Ukraine’s readiness to enter NATO, Russia, which launched a military operation against the neighbouring state in February 2022, took control of Kherson in southern Ukraine shortly after Moscow sent troops into the country.

Meanwhile, Kyiv has called for more military aid as a response to the anticipated annexations and Western countries vowed never to recognise the Russian-organised voting.

The Russian capital on Thursday was preparing for celebrations in the city centre ahead of the annexations.