Last Updated: September 29, 2022, 16:20 IST
President Vladimir Putin will on Friday begin formally annexing 15% of Ukrainian territory, presiding at a Kremlin signing ceremony to add four Ukrainian regions to Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the ceremony would take place at 1500 Moscow time (1200 GMT) on Friday “on agreements on the accession of new territories into the Russian Federation.”
Agreements will be signed “with all four territories that held referendums and made corresponding requests to the Russian side,” Peskov said.
Ukraine and the West have rejected the hastily arranged votes, held seven months after Russia’s invasion, as illegitimate shams.
Putin’s decision to incorporate the regions into Russia means Moscow will annex vast areas across eastern and southern Ukraine, representing around 15% of Ukraine’s total territory.
Following the signing ceremonies in the Kremlin, Putin will give a major speech and will meet with Moscow-appointed administrators of the Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin said.