Putin signs the annexation of a large part of Ukraine after his forced ‘vote’ in the area goes in his favor.
Locals in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine report soldiers arriving at their doors with ballots, and watching, hands on their guns, as residents ticked their box. Two choices. Be annexed by Russia or remain as Ukraine. Under Russian gun-sights, no choice at all.
Video has surfaced of ballot counting, with a woman holding up visibly un-ticked ballots, not even turning them to face herself, and announcing that each one reads in favor of being annexed.
This vote was found to be 96% in favor of the annexation, which Russian President Putin said he found “pleasantly surprising.” He also called this shotgun vote “more than convincing” and “absolutely transparent and not subject to any doubt.”
The Kremlin has said that they are not finished with annexations, either. In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “certain territories will be reclaimed, and we will keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia.”
In the meantime, rumors of Russian atrocities are coming out of Kharkiv, which has been being reclaimed by Ukrainian forces. Images of what they’ve found have included tortured and executed civilians, boxes of extracted precious metal teeth, and slaughtered children.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s office did not hold back with their opinion. Office head Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram that “the worthless decisions of the terrorist country are not worth the paper they are signed on. A collective insane asylum can continue to live in a fictional world.”
Zelenskyy himself responded by announcing that he would be fast-tracking Ukraine’s application to join NATO and that there would be no further negotiations of any sort with Russia. He continues to address his nation daily, while rockets explode in spitting reach of Kyiv.