Putin officially annexes four occupied Ukraine regions, hints again at use of nuclear weapons

The annexations follow a recent voter referendum in the four regions that Western officials have called a "sham."

Updated: September 30, 2022 - 10:01am

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday officially declared four regions of occupied Ukraine part of Russia.

The announcement and related ceremony for the annexation were announced Thursday, following a recent voter referendum in the four regions that Western officials called a "sham."

At a ceremony Friday at the Kremlin, Putin vowed to use "all available means" to defend four regions being annexed, a statement being perceived as the Russia leader repeating his recent nuclear threat

“There are four new regions of Russia,” Putin also said, according to a translation and reported by CNBC.

The four regions are Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. 

Western leaders say the annexation is a violation of international law.

The balloting took place over roughly four days this past weekend, with Russian officials saying participation and support for the annexation was over 90%. 

"The results are known, well known," Putin also said Friday.  He also argued the results reflect the will of millions of people, saying they have the right to self-determination.

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