For the purpose of determining the precise borders of the Ukrainian territories that Russia claims to have annexed, Moscow will “continue discussing” with the citizens of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
When pressed to define the limits of the lands the Russian Federation has annexed, Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded: “As for the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia (regions), we will continue talking with the inhabitants of these regions.”
Peskov said he “cannot answer this question at the time” in response to queries regarding the structure of these discussions, adding that it will depend on the wishes of the inhabitants of such territories. There won’t be any more referendums, he declared.
Following phoney elections held by Russian-backed officials in eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin last week legally signed a decree annexing about 5% of Ukraine’s territory in flagrant violation of international law. The elections, which are against international law, have been derided as “a fraud” by Ukraine and Western countries.
Currently, the Ukrainian military is in charge of a portion of the territory that makes up the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Following the event on Friday at St. George’s Hall in the Kremlin, Peskov declined to comment on whether Russia will see this as its own property.
Regarding the other two areas, Peskov reiterated that as of 2014, Russia regarded the entirety of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) as being a part of Russian territory.
On Sunday, the Russian Constitutional Court upheld the legality of the agreements pertaining to the inclusion of the DPR, LPR, and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions in the Russian Federation. The precise limits of the new regions are not stated in the treaties that the government has made public.