Russian Federation Council Approves Annexation of Ukrainian Territories
After the State Duma, the Federation Council – the Russian upper house – also approved the annexation of the occupied territories in Ukraine. The regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson are to be included in the Russian Federation.
As the Russian news agency Tass reported, the decision of the parliamentary chamber was unanimous. The State Duma approved the annexation yesterday. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin still has to sign the corresponding law for it to come into force from the Russian point of view. Internationally, the annexation is denounced as illegal and not recognised, just as the sham referendums in the Ukrainian regions have already been denied legality.
Russia plans to integrate the four affected Ukrainian regions by 2026 fully, and the State Duma has already introduced several laws intended to promote integration. Overall, the occupied territories comprise about 18 per cent of the Ukrainian national territory.
In a video message published on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again emphasised that Ukraine wanted to defend its entire territory and recapture the occupied regions.
Most recently, Ukrainian troops in the south and east of the country have reported military successes, and, according to their own statements, the army is continuing its counter-offensive. In southern Ukraine, the troops want to continue their advance along the Dnipro River to recapture the city of Kherson. In north-eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian armed forces were concentrated on the Swatove transport hub, which was still under Russian control.