The Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as the Lugansk People’s Republic, Kherson region and Zaporozhye region, overwhelmingly supported joining Russia during their September referendums.
Russia’s Federation Council ratified the treaties on the DPR’s and LPR’s admission to Russia on Tuesday, as well as Zaporozhye region and Kherson region. At the same time, the parliaments of the DPR and LPR also voted to ratify the agreements.
The DPR and LPR, Zaporozhye region and Kherson region held referendums on joining the Russian Federation on September 23-27. Despite shelling by Ukraine and the constant threat of attacks, voter turnout was considerably high, and most people backed the idea of becoming part of Russia: 99.23% in the DPR, 98.42% in the LPR, 93.11% in Zaporozhye region and 87.05% in Kherson region.
Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, former President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the votes, saying the outcome is clear and adding “welcome to Russia!”
Following the votes, President Vladimir Putin and the heads of two republics and two regions signed agreements on the accession of the territories to Russia.
Addressing the historical moment during the ceremony, the Russian president stressed that the people of the four territories had “made their unequivocal choice.” He added that “the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever,” noting that Moscow will use every means to protect them.
The US and the European Union have refused to recognize the referendums despite the results and promised more military support to Kiev.
The DPR and LPR declared their independence in 2014, after a violent Western-backed coup d’etat in Kiev. Since then, the Ukrainian government has been waging a war against the people of Donbass, which resulted in thousands of casualties. Addressing constant attacks against Donetsk and Lugansk by Kiev, Russia started a special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.
Reporting from Sputnik News.