Since February, Ukrainian forces have fought hard against the Russian military as they invade the area on the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although many countries denounced the war, like the United States, Putin appears to care little about what his opponents believe. Even his own citizens have decided to go to extreme lengths to not serve in his military. That includes inflicting self-harm, like breaking a leg or arm. Numerous videos circulated online showing just how dire the situation has become. And it seems that there is no end in sight as Putin announced that four regions in Ukraine are now under the rule of the Russian Federation.

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Taking part in a lavish ceremony at the Georgievsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace in Moscow, the Russian government stated that four regions in Ukraine, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Luhansk, showed overwhelming loyalty to the Russian Federation and President Putin. Wanting to secede from Ukraine, Putin stated, “The people have made their choice.” Declaring them Russian citizens, he added, “This is the will of millions.”

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According to the Russian proxies, each region had the following support:
87% in Kherson
93% in Zaporizhzhia
98% in Luhansk
99% in Donetsk

While Vladimir Putin signed the executive order, western officials criticized the result, suggesting that they were created to show overwhelming support for Russia’s invasion. Similar antics were used in Crimea in 2014, and back in February, Putin did the exact same thing with the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. It wasn’t long after Putin made his announcement that the war started.

After the news broke, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres spoke with reporters about the executive order, stating, “Any annexation of a state’s territory by another state resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law.”

With Putin moving to annex four regions of Ukraine, Joe Biden criticized the Russian government, declaring the United States will never acknowledge the claims. “The United States, I want to be very clear about this, the United States will never, never, never recognize Russia’s claims on Ukraine sovereign territory.” He added, “Russia’s assault on Ukraine in pursuit of imperial ambitions is a flagrant, flagrant violation of the UN Charter, and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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Users online voiced their opinions, writing, “Time to end war. I’m sorry, but he needs to save face, and this may be the only change America gets. We are spending billions protecting someone else’s borders when ours are wide open. We are facing major issues in this country and soon a food crisis. We are broke and borrowing money to send to Ukraine for a war we never planned on them. Winning…..enough.”