Russian President Vladimir Putin signed documents for the annexation of four regions of Ukraine even as his troops faced more blows. Additionally, the documents state that the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson areas are “accepted into the Russian Federation.” However, Ukraine claimed it has been retaking more villages in two of those regions—Luhansk and Kherson.
Putin signs annexation laws
Mr. Putin also authorized the formalization of Russia’s takeover of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. In addition, the Russian president signed agreements with the Moscow- appointed leaders of the four regions during a formal event that took place in the Kremlin last Friday.
Furthermore, the action followed what the West referred to as “sham” self-proclaimed referendums in the regions.
Ukraine regains control of the annexed regions
The situation on the ground, however, seems to be different with Ukrainian forces advancing in both the south and the east.
For instance, Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk revealed to the BBC on Wednesday that Ukraine recaptured six villages in the area. Later, according to President Zelensky, Ukraine liberated three more villages in Kherson’s southern district. That came after other victories in Kherson the day before, including the strategically key village of Davydiv Brid.
The Kremlin fights back
On the other hand, a few hours before morning, a series of enormous explosions shook the southern city of Zaporizhzhia. According to local authorities, seven Russian missiles hit residential buildings, and people are reportedly “under the rubble,” BBC reported. As of yet, there is no information about casualties.
Additionally, rescuers are searching through the shattered remnants of a beautiful five-story apartment building in the center of the city, according to Paul Adams of the BBC who is in the area.
According to Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Kremlin, Russia would reclaim any area it had given up to Ukrainian forces. In response to inquiries about the recent losses, he said to reporters: “There is no contradiction here. They will be with Russia forever, they will be returned.”
On Russian Teachers’ Day, in a speech to educators, Mr. Putin promised to “calmly develop” the regions under its control after the annexation.
The chairman of the State Duma defense committee, Andrey Kartopolov, however, told state media that Russia needed to stop lying about what was happening on the battlefield and that Russians were not naive.
Besides, even after Mr. Putin announced a call-up last month of 300,000 people who had completed compulsory military service, Russia is still attempting to mobilize reservists. However, Mr. Putin has backtracked on which categories will be impacted in response to vocal opposition and protests in Russia.
On another note, President Putin signed a document formalizing Russia’s seizure of the nuclear power plant in one of the districts it seized, Zaporizhzhia, which the Russian forces have held since the beginning of the conflict. Russia claims that a new company would run the plant, which is the largest nuclear facility in Europe. But Ukraine’s nuclear operator dismissed the move as “worthless.”
As a result, IAEA head, Rafael Grossi, stated that he will hold talks with both sides in the wake of this event. The IAEA, which stands for The International Atomic Energy Agency, is the UN’s nuclear watchdog. He is traveling to Kyiv and then Moscow to create a protection zone around the facility, which is located close to the front lines of fighting.
On the other hand, reports of fighting around the nuclear site raised international concerns. Hence, the facility shut down its final reactor last month.