Four Ukrainian regions have been annexed by Russia

MOSCOW: Following a similar vote yesterday in Russia's lower house, the State Duma, Russia's Federation Council unanimously approved legislation to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya.

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The inclusion of four Ukrainian territories in Russia was approved by a vote in the upper house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday as Moscow moves to formally annex the territory it seized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict.

Following a similar vote on Tuesday in Russia's lower house, the State Duma, the Federation Council unanimously approved legislation to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya.

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The four regions, which make up about 18% of Ukraine's internationally recognized territory, now return to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin's final signature to complete the formal merger process.

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After what was referred to as a referendum in the occupied territories of Ukraine, Russia announced the annexations. According to Western governments and Kyiv, the votes violated international law and were coercive and non-representative.

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