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Kremlin: Military withdrawals do not affect our plans to annex regions



The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is expected to be restarted in the coming days

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Ukrainian army has liberated several places in recent days during its advance in the south and east of the country. Meanwhile, Russian President Putin signed a document on the annexation of four regions to Russia.

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces are making rapid progress and have established control over several places in Kherson, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions. According to him, in the Kherson region in the south alone, they captured eight places in the last few hours. “Our soldiers are not stopping. It is only a matter of time before they drive the occupier out of our territory,” the Ukrainian president also said.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine published a video showing how soldiers hung the Ukrainian flag in Davidiv Brid. The city of Kherson is still controlled by Russian forces.

Ukrainian officials and pro-Russian leaders confirmed on Tuesday that the Ukrainian army had captured some villages along the strategically important Dnieper River.

As Zelensky said, he signed the decree on the annulment of all the decrees of the Russian president Vladimir Putin and all acts adopted to implement these decrees for the attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory from 2014 to the present.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces broke through the Russian defense line in the south of the country and achieved the biggest breakthrough since the beginning of the war, and they also continued the counter-offensive in the east. Already on Saturday, Ukrainian forces recaptured the strategically important town of Liman in the Donetsk region.

American president Joe Biden assured in a telephone conversation with Zelensky that the US will never recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territories to Russia, and promised that the US would provide Ukraine with a new arms package totaling $625 million. These are Himars missile systems, artillery systems, ammunition and armored vehicles.

Putin signed the annexation

Meanwhile, in the Kremlin, Putin also officially signed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye. He announced that they are part of Russian territory already at a ceremony on Friday, and the annexation was also confirmed this week by both houses of the Russian parliament. With Putin’s signature, the annexation is now final for Russia, and the borders of the regions are considered the state borders of Russia.

Until the election of the heads of the new regions in accordance with Russian laws, the regions will be administered by acting officials appointed by the Russian president. According to Russian media, the elections of the regional parliaments will be held on a single election day, which is scheduled to take place in September 2023.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia's military defeats do not affect plans to annex Ukrainian regions.  Photo: Reuters

Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov said that there is no contradiction between the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia and the withdrawal of the Russian army, as Moscow will continue plans to annex the regions. “These regions will remain with Russia forever, they will be returned,” he added.

Ukraine and Western countries immediately condemned the referendums on independence in these regions and called them illegal, and the international community does not recognize Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

Moscow expects cooperation in the Nord Stream gas leak investigation

Russia should be required to participate in an investigation into gas leaks from the damaged Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said, after Sweden closed off the area around the pipeline due to an investigation into alleged sabotage of the pipeline.

“So far, from the press conferences in Denmark and Sweden, we have heard nothing but alarming statements that exclude any cooperation with the Russian side,” Peskov said. He added that Moscow will wait for explanations, as it is convinced that there should be “Russian participation in inspecting the injuries and investigating the incident is mandatory”.

Will Zaporozhye be restarted soon?

The president of Energoatom, which controls Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporozhye, said the plant could be restarted shortly. Due to fierce fighting around the facility, six nuclear reactors were shut down on September 11. Now he is the president of Energoatom Petra Kotin said that two reactors could be restarted to “protected the safety settings in the power plant because winter is approaching and temperatures are dropping”.

Source: Rtvslo

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