Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on Thursday recognizing two Ukrainian regions - Kherson and Zaporizhzhia - as "independent territories" after pseudo-referendums were held there.
Proxy authorities in four Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk (both in the Donbas region), Kherson & Zaporizhzhia – held referendums between 23-27 September on joining the Russian Federation. The votes would enable the Kremlin to claim that it was “defending” its own territory and citizens. Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned the move and said they would not recognize the ballots and efforts to annex more of Ukraine, as Russia did with Crimea in 2014.
The decrees published by Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency will “enter into force” on September 29.
Putin justifies his acts of aggression by "universally recognized principles and norms of international law" which are enshrined in the UN charter.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted on Facebook that in Kherson, the Russians evicted residents of several dormitories to accommodate their servicemen.