The inclusion of four Ukrainian regions into Russia was approved by a vote of the upper house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday as Moscow moves to formally annexed the land it seized from Kyiv during its seven-month conflict.
Following a similar vote in the State Duma, Russia’s lower house, on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously approved legislation to annex the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Now that the four areas, which make up about 18% of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory, have been formally annexed, the paperwork returns to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin’s final signature.
After holding what it referred to as referendums in Ukraine’s seized regions, Russia announced the annexations. The ballots, according to Western nations and Kiev, violated international law and were coerced and unrepresentative.