Vladimir Putin has signed treaties to annex territories in Ukraine, the Kremlin announced, in a major escalation of Russia’s seven-month war.

Russia has recognized the independence of the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, according to the decrees of Russian President Vladimir Putin, published on the official legal information portal. Decrees enter into force from the day they are signed.

Vladimir Putin has stated that he is prepared to defend these territories using all available means, indicating that he would be willing to resort to a nuclear attack to thwart Ukraine’s efforts to liberate its sovereign territory.

The UN reaction after Putin signed the annexation treaties

The announcement triggered a new round of international condemnations.

“Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions from Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters.

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