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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ukraine Acquires Territory That Putin Had Annexed to Russia

The new law would incorporate about 18% of Ukraine’s territory into Russia

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UKRAINE: Ukraine has achieved major successes in the past few weeks with its rigorous and rapid counter-offensive measures against Russia, this time reclaiming a major chunk of settlements in the Kherson region, which was part of President Putin’s referendums.

Kherson is one of the four industrial hubs, including Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia, which President Putin formally incorporated into Russia in Europe’s biggest annexation since World War II.

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With Russian forces facing major withdrawals from the front lines in the south and east, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a late Wednesday address that Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka, and Petropavlivka to the northeast of Kherson city had been “liberated.”

At the United Nations, Russia is lobbying for a secret ballot instead of a legitimate, public vote. Next week, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly will convene and decide whether to condemn its annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south after staging illegal, “sham” referendums there.

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On Wednesday, Putin signed a decree that incorporated the regions into Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine says that it will never accept an illegal seizure of its territory by force.

Both Kyiv and its allies, especially the West, have said that the ballots were null and void, as reports have circulated that votes were acquired at gunpoint.

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The new law would incorporate about 18% of Ukraine’s territory into Russia. Putin has waged war against Ukraine with the supposed intention of protecting Russian-speaking minorities and ousting staunch nationalists in the country.

Kyiv has slammed these intentions, saying Russia is only looking for some land grabs.

Russia’s move to incorporate these four strategic regions into its political domain suggests a new escalation in the conflict, where President Putin has confirmed that Russia is armed with an advanced nuclear arsenal, which it is not scared to use in case of a national security threat.

However, Ukraine has responded by saying that it will not be cowed by any nuclear threats, and Zelensky said in his video address that he and his senior military officials will convene to discuss the measures for recovering the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories.

Switching from Ukrainian to Russian, Zelenskiy addressed pro-Moscow forces, telling them they had already lost.

“Ukrainians know what they are fighting for and more and more citizens of Russia are realising that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war,” he said in reference to Putin.

Ukraine’s military in the south said its forces had killed at least 58 Russian fighters, and destroyed nine tanks, 17 armoured vehicles and four howitzers.

Overnight, seven Russian missiles hit the city of Zaporizhzhia, damaging or destroying several buildings and causing fires and injuries, regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said. “Rescuers are already pulling people out from under the rubble,” he said.

In another news report, Russian state gas giant Energoatom considers Putin’s decree and other “documents” issued in Russia on the Zaporizhzhia NPP as useless, absurd, and inadequate.

Also Read: Ukraine Liberates Kherson from Russian Occupation

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