Russia claims eastern Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday the formal incorporation of about 15 percent of Ukraine—the biggest annexation since World War II. Western countries and the United Nations have called the move illegal and refused to recognize the annexed portions as part of Russia. In his speech, Putin called on Ukraine to come to the negotiating table and said he would defend the annexed land as part of Russia using every available means. Ukrainian officials responded that the war is being decided on the battlefield. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that “everything will be Ukraine.”
What’s happening on the ground? Just before Putin’s speech, a Russian missile strike killed at least 25 people and wounded 50 more in the city of Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian officials said. The region’s governor said the missile hit a convoy of cars heading to the annexed regions of Ukraine to pick up their relatives. Russia blamed the attack on Ukraine. In the northern Donetsk province, Ukraine has encircled Russia’s garrison at Lyman. Taking the city could open up a path deep into Russian-occupied territory.
Dig deeper: Read Mark Tooley’s column in WORLD Opinions on the pro-war heresy of the Russian Orthodox patriarch.
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