Russian President Vladimir Putin signs laws to formally annex Ukraine regions after ‘sham’ votes
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation ratifying the accession of the Zaporozhye region, the Kherson region, the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic to the Russian Federation after "sham" votes, according to the Kremlin. On the basis of the free and voluntary expression of will by the people, the laws declare each region to be a New Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation. The fact that the regions remain part of Ukraine is, according to the Ukrainian government, an "obvious truth."
The European Union described the votes as "illegal" and a "blatant violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The US President Joe Biden referred to the referenda as a "sham" and "an extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter". Putin lashed out against the "Western elites" and "false rules" that the international community has attempted to impose on Russia. The next day Russia announced plans to "control and defend" the regions through economic and military assistance.