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Russians approve law on annexation of regions in Ukraine, but do not know how to delimit borders

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Putin’s troops do not fully control the territories in which the referendums were held; Kremlin spokesperson stated that they will continue to listen to the interests of the population

Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP

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Russian parliament approves annexations of occupied territories in Ukraine

Russian lawmakers voted in favor of a law to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and zaporizhia – initiative signed by the president Vladimir Putin on Friday, the 30th, which predicts an escalation of the conflict. Members of Parliament’s lower house, the Duma, voted unanimously to incorporate the territories with no votes against and no abstentions, according to its website. Despite the result of the referendums that point to victory for Russia regarding the annexation of the regions, the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, stated that they will continue to consult the population to decide whether the entire territory will be annexed or just the part that Putin’s troops control, as they do not have full power. “We will continue to consult the population of these regions,” Peskov replied. The ISW (Institute for the Study of War), a research center based in United States, claims that Russia controls 72% of the Zaporizhia region. Furthermore, nearly 88% of Kherson and its eponymous capital are under Russian occupation.

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Over the weekend, troops from Volodymyr Zelensky managed to regain territory within the annexed regions that had been controlled by the Russians since May. Lyman acts as a logistics and transport hub that anchors Russian operations in the north of the region. His capture is Kiev’s second-biggest gain since a lightning counteroffensive retook areas of the Kharkiv region in September. In response to Russian annexation, the Ukrainian president responded by calling for an accelerated NATO accession process and said he will not negotiate with Russia while Putin is in power. These four territories link Russia to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014. Together, the five regions account for about 20% of Ukraine. However, Russian forces do not have complete control over territories in Kherson and Zaporizhia and the Kremlin has not confirmed which areas of the region have been annexed.

*With information from AFP

Source: Jovempan

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