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Russia has recognized the independence of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decrees published by the official database of legislative information on Friday.
"In accordance with the generally accepted principles and norms of international law, recognizing and confirming the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples enshrines in the Charter of the United Nations, and taking into account the will of the people of the Kherson region at the referendum, which took place on September 27, 2022, I hereby decree: to recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Kherson region," the signed decree read.
A similar decree on recognizing the independence of the Zaporozhye oblast was also issued.
Both documents, dated September 29, 2022, come into force on the day of their signing.
The republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, previously recognized by Moscow as independent states, and the Ukrainian provinces of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, controlled by Russian troops, held referendums on accession to Russia from September 23 to 27. With a massive population turnout, the 'yes' vote won by an absolute majority in all four territories.
Several countries and international organizations condemned the holding of the votes and made it clear that they would not recognize their results.
The four territories declared that they seek to join Russia to "defend themselves from terrorist acts" of the Ukrainian government and NATO members, which supplies them with weapons "to murder civilians" and ensure their inhabitants' safety.