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Putin signs decrees paving way for annexation of two Ukraine regions

Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with the heads of delegations to the 18th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States members via videoconference at the Kremlin in Moscow on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed decrees paving the way for the occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be formally annexed into Russia.

The decrees, made public by the Kremlin, said Putin had recognized the two regions as independent territories. This is an intermediary step needed before Putin can go ahead with plans to announce on Friday that the regions are part of Russia.