ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Ukraine war

Russia's upper house ratifies annexation of four Ukrainian regions

Documents now pass back to Kremlin for Putin's final signature

Spectators listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a concert marking the declared annexation of Ukraine's four Russian-controlled territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in Red Square in central Moscow on Sept. 30.   © Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The upper house of Russia's parliament voted on Tuesday to approve the incorporation of four Ukrainian regions into Russia as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it sized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict.

In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the State Duma, Russia's lower house, Monday.

The documents now pass back to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin's final signature to formally annex the four regions, representing around 18% of Ukraine's internationally recognized territory.

Russia declared the annexations after holding what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and nonrepresentative.

Despite having passed through Russia's rubber-stamp parliament, the Kremlin has yet to formally designate the borders of the new regions -- large parts of which are under the control of Ukraine's forces. As such, it is still unclear where Russia will demarcate its own international borders once the annexation is complete.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said consultations were ongoing regarding the borders of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

Russia does not have full control over any of the four regions.

Ukraine made more battlefield gains on Monday, taking territory tens of kilometers behind the previous front lines in the southern Kherson region, according to reports by Russian-installed officials.

Meanwhile, Russia's forces only control around 60% of the Donetsk region and 70% of Zaporizhzhia, while recent Ukrainian advances have also pushed the front lines back into Luhansk, a region that Russian forces claimed full control over in July.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more