Russian President Vladimir Putin announced, during a speech in the Kremlin, the annexation of four occupied regions in Ukraine following a referendum held for residents of the regions in question.
"In the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk there were referendums. Their results are known and show an unequivocal choice. Today we sign the agreement to accept them into the Russian Federation. This is the wish of more than a million people. This is their right that cannot be taken away, written in the UN constitution."
"Previous generations founded Russia, fought, and founded new cities. We will always remember the heroes of World War II." The President of Russia also addressed the Ukrainians: "We will remember all those who died for the sake of speaking their native language - the citizens, the women, the elderly, Russians and Ukrainians, people of many nationalities."
Putin addressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: "I want the fascist leaders in Kyiv and those who actually control them in the West to hear - the residents of these for regions now become our citizens for good. We call on Kyiv to immediately cease fighting and return to the negotiating table."
The Russian president also chose to criticize family values as practiced in Western countries: "Do we want here in Russia to have a mother and a father or 'parent 1 and parent 2'? The West rejects moral norms and religious and family values. Do we want our children to be offered gender reassignment surgeries?"
Putin also directly criticized the United States: "They used nuclear weapons against Japan, they left a horrifying situation in Korea. Europe is giving in to the US, which demands the imposition of sanctions on Russia."
Putin blamed the Ukrainians for the destruction of the Ukrainian people and added: "We are ready for this - we have said this several times. Regarding the choice of Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, there will be no negotiation. The choice has already been made, and Russia will not betray them. We will do everything to ensure the peace of our nation. This is the mission of our nation."