Putin illegally annexes more Ukraine land

Russian President Vladimir Putin organized a signing ceremony to illegally annex more occupied Ukrainian territory. Ukraine's president countered with an application to fast-track its request to join NATO.

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World News

September 30, 2022 - 3:46 PM

(L-R) The Moscow-appointed heads of Kherson region Vladimir Saldo and Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin and Lugansk separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik react after signing treaties formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022. (MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties Friday to illegally annex more occupied Ukrainian territory in a sharp escalation of his seven-month invasion. Ukraine’s president immediately countered with a surprise application to join the NATO military alliance.

Putin’s land-grab and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s signing of what he said is an “accelerated” NATO membership application sent the two leaders speeding even faster on a collision course that is cranking up fears of a full-blown conflict between Russia and the West.

Putin vowed to protect newly annexed regions of Ukraine by “all available means,” a nuclear-backed threat at a Kremlin signing ceremony where he also railed furiously at the West, accusing the United States and its allies of seeking Russia’s destruction.

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