Vladimir Putin isn’t the most scrupulous world leader, that’s for sure, but his latest maneuvers in Ukraine have given the Russian President an even worse reputation than he previously held.
The Kremlin’s fighting force, (or what’s left of it after mass desertions and heavy casualties), has turned to pure and unadulterated barbarism in an effort to make progress. Reports of rape, torture, and genocide have been pouring out of the conflict, and international investigators are already looking to tens of thousands of potential war crimes.
Now, in a stunningly rigged series of referenda, Putin is now stealing away Ukrainian land wholesale.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday will officially begin annexing four more regions in Ukraine in a signing ceremony following the conclusion of self-run referenda this week that the West and Kyiv have decried as a sham.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday the ceremony would take place in Moscow “on agreements on the accession of new territories into the Russian Federation,” first reported Reuters.
The “agreement” will apparently be signed “with all four territories that held referendums and made corresponding requests to the Russian side,” he added.
There is little doubt that the votes were illegitimate.
Moscow-installed regional officials from Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaphorizhzhia and Kherson are expected to represent the four regions after claiming to have achieved a monumental show of support for Russia’s illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory.
Polls close Tuesday following five days of voting organized by Russian proxies who have claimed to have garnered 93 percent of civilian support in Zaporizhzhia, 87 percent in Kherson, 98 percent in Luhansk and 99 percent in Donetsk.
Russia has been down this road before, having similarly and illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014.