March 25, 2023

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What follows after Vladimir Putin annexed 15% of the surface of Ukraine, an area the size of a country like Portugal

It is about 100,000 square km, a little over 15% of the surface of Ukraine, an area the size of a country like Portugal. In front of the raucous and visibly tense audience, Putin nevertheless contradicted the fears of those who were expecting surprises and, above all, serious announcements.

Vladimir Putin: “The peoples separated from Moscow, with the collapse of the USSR, were only informed that they would be part of other countries, they were not consulted, nor did they really understand what was happening to them. The USSR cannot be resurrected, but nothing is stronger than the people’s will to return to the motherland”.

Joe Biden: “The United States will never, never, never recognize Russia’s claims to the sovereign territory of Ukraine.”

Vladimir Putin: “Let those who control the regime in Kyiv know that the citizens of the four territories, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, are becoming citizens of Russia today and will remain so forever! I urge the Kyiv regime to withdraw its weapons and soldiers from there and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for discussions, but let it be clear that, for Moscow, the fate of the 4 regions is out of the question. We will protect our territories with all the forces at our disposal, we will do everything to secure the territory.”

Joe Biden: “The so-called referendums were a travesty, an absolute travesty. The results were orchestrated in Moscow. The true will of the people is evident every day when Ukrainians sacrifice their lives for the freedom and independence of their country.”

In a lengthy recap of his favorite theses, Putin lectured on democracy and preached about Russophobia, Western greed and hypocrisy. The only time he explicitly mentioned nuclear weapons was when he accused the United States of setting the precedent by using them on Japan in 1945.

Also, the whole speech was an indictment against America, to which he attributed the blame for all the evils in the world. And, on the principle of divide et impera, the Russian president tried to reach out to the Europeans. In Putin’s opinion, the Europeans are vassals of the Americans, i.e. they are also victims of the uni-polar world led by Washington.

Vladimir Putin: “The Europeans are at the behest of the US, which is pursuing a destructive policy and pushing European governments to destroy their infrastructure, betraying their own peoples. The Anglo-Saxons ended up attacking the gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. By imposing sanctions against Moscow, Westerners have shown masochism.”

The speech ended on a high note, in the deafening applause of the Russian dignitaries.

The administrators installed by Moscow in the 4 annexed Ukrainian regions moved emotionally towards Putin and, seated at separate tables, signed the treaties of integration of the territories into the Russian Federation.

At the end, in a moment of unusual euphoria, they all shook hands, as Putin usually keeps his distance from anyone.

On the other hand, the reality is that Russia does not fully control any of the 4 territories, least of all Donetsk and Zaporozhye.

Dmitry Peskov, the presidential spokesman: As for Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, I don’t know, I have to check. I can’t answer you now.
And what will happen to the portions of unliberated territories?
Dmitry Peskov, presidential spokesman: They will be released.

Once those regions become part of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin will be able to announce possible intensification of the armed response to Ukraine on the principle of defending its own territory. The military doctrine of the Russian Federation also allows the use of tactical nuclear weapons if “the very existence of the Russian state is endangered”.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian leadership bluntly says that the annexation does not change anything on the battlefield, where Kiev’s forces continue to be on the offensive. Zelensky addressed the Russian people directly.

Volodymyr Zelensky: “To stop (the war), you have to stop the only Russian who wants war more than he values ​​the life, your life, of the citizens of Russia. 58,500 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine. The Russian government is lying to you when it says 6,000 people died. 58,500 is the actual number.
You must not die in Ukraine, nor your sons. You do not owe this to anyone, not to your parents, not to your children, not to your future and to your country. Fight the dead! Defend your freedom in the streets!”

On Friday evening, by choice or by force, Muscovites celebrate the expansion of the Russian Federation at a pop concert organized in Red Square, right under the walls of the Kremlin.

President Zelenskiy met with military commanders to discuss ‘liberation’ plan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with military commanders on Friday to discuss a “liberation plan” for Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russians, Reuters reports.

Zelenskiy indicated in a message posted on Telegram that he and military commanders also discussed arms supplies for the country’s armed forces, as well as possible Russian plans following its invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president has said he will not negotiate with Russia as long as Vladimir Putin is in power, shortly after the Russian leader called on Ukraine to lay down its arms.

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