Ukraine responds to Putin’s illegal annexation of their country with an accelerated bid to join NATO

Ukraine is responding to Russia’s plan to annex much of its territory by requesting accelerated approval to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin formally announced plans to annex around a fifth of Ukraine, in violation of international law, according to CNN.

Putin claimed the move would make people living in those areas Russian citizens “forever.” Affected regions include Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

In response to the attempted land grab, Ukraine called for a “accelerated accession” to become a member of NATO.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday: “We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other. This is the alliance. De facto. Today Ukraine is asking to make it de jure.”

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“In Ukraine, the fate of democracy will be decided in confrontation with tyranny,” he said added.

NATO is unlikely to act quickly to add Ukraine to the alliance – which could require member states to send in troops to defend it.

But at least it’s a thumbs-in-the-eye from Putin, who has previously expressed concern about NATO’s eastward expansion. The Russian leader used concerns about Ukraine’s entry into the alliance as a pretext for his invasion in late February.

The move to annex the territory of Ukraine comes like Russia faced a huge battlefield losses and abandoned Thousands of square miles of the territory. An assessment of the American secret service estimated 500 Russian troops were killed or wounded every day.

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This photo taken on September 11, 2022 shows a Ukrainian soldier standing on an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izyum in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Juan BARRETO/AFP) (Photo by JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the dynamics of the war changed, Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the Russian armed forces. He explained: “Only those citizens who are currently in the reserve and especially those who have served in the army, who have certain professions and have the necessary experience, are drafted into military service.”

And Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that 300,000 reservists would be called up to “hold the line at the front”.

The mobilization Notice sparked an exodus of tens of thousands of men trying to avoid conscription.

Earlier this week, Schein referendums on joining Russia took place in the regions expected to join Russia. And Putin has raised new concerns about the possible use of nuclear weapons when he said Russia will use “all the means at our disposal” to defend its “territorial integrity”.

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The annexation ploy appears to be an attempt to dissuade Ukraine from pursuing its counteroffensive – by potentially threatening to use nuclear weapons in response to an attack on “Russian” territory. But it also seems to be a cover for the mobilization. Instead of admitting that Russia is currently suffering massive losses in an unprovoked war, officials can claim that its territory is under attack.

But Zelenskyy’s move is defiant and shows that Ukraine is not stopping Ukraine from moving closer to the West. Putin can threaten and even invade the country, but he cannot intimidate them into complying with his demands.

And it could be a signal that Ukraine is not only not dropping its bid to join NATO, but is also determined not to make major concessions, even if they bring about an end to the war.

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https://ijr.com/ukraine-putins-illegal-annexation-lands-fast-track/ Ukraine responds to Putin’s illegal annexation of their country with an accelerated bid to join NATO

Mike Fahey

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