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Putin declares holiday commemorating occupation of Ukrainian regions

by Abbey Fenbert September 30, 2023 3:29 AM 1 min read
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on Sept. 14, 2023. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel /POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree marking Sept. 30 a "reunification day" commemorating Russia's illegal annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson oblasts, the Russian news outlet Interfax reported on Sept. 28.

On Sept. 30, 2022, Russia signed "treaties" with Moscow's proxies in the four occupied regions, declaring them part of the Russian Federation.

The signing followed a series of sham referendums in the regions.

Residents of the occupied regions reported that local authorities used intimidation tactics and threats of violence to force people to vote in the referendums.

This year, Putin recorded a video address congratulating residents of the occupied territories on the anniversary of "reunification."

"A year ago, on September 30, a defining, truly historic and life-changing event took place: agreements were signed on the accession of four new subjects to the Russian Federation," Putin said.

On Sept. 29, the Russian Defense Ministry announced it would begin enlisting residents of the occupied territories as part of its twice-yearly military conscription campaign.

Kherson residents share stories of living under Russian occupation
Despite the dire humanitarian situation in Kherson, residents are still celebrating its liberation two weeks after the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered the city. With Russian forces finally gone from the city, local residents share stories of living under occupation. Filmed by Liza Pyrozhkova.
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