Putin signs into law annexation of Ukraine regions as fighting continues

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the annexation of four Ukrainian regions as his military fought to control the areas that were illegally absorbed.

The annexation documents were published on a Russian government website, according to russia-ukraine-putin-international-law-donetsk-9fcd11c11936dd700db94ab725f2b7d6″The Associated Press, after the Kremlin orchestrated “referendums” in the four regions that were condemned as illegitimate by both the Ukrainian government and the West. Putin signed the treaties last week to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, after the Russian parliament approved them.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call with reporters that “certain territories will be reclaimed, and we will keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia.”

In the Kherson region, while Russia has claimed that Ukrainian advances had been halted, Ukraine said it had raised its flag over seven villages in the region that had previously been occupied by the Russians.

Also according to the Ukrainians, the country’s forces still control some areas in the Russian-annexed Donetsk region.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Tuesday that his country is seeking a fast-track application to join NATO.

Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, which Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told CNN was just “saber-rattling.”

When the annexation was announced, President Joe Biden said, “The United States condemns Russia’s fraudulent attempt today to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory,” The Hill reported.

“Russia is violating international law, trampling on the United Nations Charter and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere,” he added.

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UN warns of rights violations in Russian-controlled areas

“Disturbing accounts” are emerging of torture, widespread enforced disappearances and the arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians in territories controlled by Russian forces, United Nations human rights monitors warn.

The big picture: The update to the UN Human Rights Council raising concern about a “dire human rights situation” in Ukraine came as Ukrainian forces recaptured more territory in the east and south, in areas Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed to have annexed into Russia.

Details: Christian Salazar Volkmann, director of UN field operations, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that UN officials had received reports of two Ukrainian servicemen being “tortured to death,” along with other allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

  • human-rights-council” data-vars-content-id=”40197e52-faed-4344-9ed8-b2dd7704e58c” data-vars-headline=”UN warns of rights violations in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine” data-vars-event-category=”story” data-vars-sub-category=”story” data-vars-item=”in_content_link” href=”https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2022/10/item-10-oral-update-situation-human-rights-ukraine-human-rights-council”Volkmann said Officials were concerned “about the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly” in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, with multiple civil and political rights violations and Ukrainian TV and radio stations replaced with Russian media.
  • “The people in Ukraine have experienced unspeakable suffering and devastation,” said Volkmann, whose report was based on over 1,000 interviews and dozens of visits by UN officials.

The other side: Russian officials to the UN called Volkmann’s report “one-sided and unbalanced.”

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