BREAKING: Ukraine Officially Applies for NATO

Ukraine has officially applied for NATO membership.




From Reuters:

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday Ukraine was formally applying for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance and that Kyiv was ready for talks with Moscow, but not with President Vladimir Putin.

The Ukrainian leader made his comments in a video which appeared intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim four partially occupied Ukrainian regions as annexed Russian land.

“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelenskiy said in a video on Telegram.

The video showed Zelenskiy announcing the membership bid and then signing a document flanked by his prime minister and the speaker of parliament.

The announcement was likely to touch a nerve in Moscow which casts the NATO bloc at home as a hostile military alliance bent on encroaching in Moscow sphere of influence and destroying it.

People reportedly chanted “Russia, Russia, Russia” after Putin signed documents to annex four Moscow-occupied areas of Ukraine on Friday: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.


Axios noted:

  • Most western governments — including the U.S. and the European Union — say they won’t recognize the annexed territory as Russian.
  • Zelensky’s announcement in the response followed his previous warnings that annexation would cease diplomatic negotiations between the countries.

Russia held referendums in the occupied regions of Ukraine from Sept. 23 through Sept. 27, despite international outrage.

According to Russian state media, the four regions appeared to vote overwhelmingly in favor of joining the Russian Federation.

Western governments claim the referendums were ‘a sham,’ violated international law, and could significantly escalate the war.

NPR reported:

Four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine appeared to vote overwhelmingly in favor of joining the Russian Federation, according to Russian state media. Ukraine and its international partners have dismissed the highly controversial referendums as shams and a violation of international law.

The Russian-run referendum votes took place over five days, from Sept. 23 through Sept. 27, despite international outrage.

The referendums are widely viewed as an initial Kremlin move toward formal Russian annexation of the territories, even as the exact timetable remains unclear.

Results reported Tuesday by Russian state media allegedly showed over 98% voting in favor of the measure in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics; while 93% voted for it in the Zaporizhzhia region and 87% in the Kherson region.

Deseret News added:

The referendums are controversial because Ukraine still views itself as a sovereign state, separate from Russia — even in the four areas where the referendums are taking place, which Russia has taken over.

“It’s all staged, and it’s all fake,” Ukrainian Viktoria Yermoleny told NPR. “… The Russians are just going to write the numbers that they need and be done with it.”

The United Nations and Ukrainian officials are currently investigating new evidence of war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine — “including at least 30 displaying signs of torture,” per The Associated Press.

Ukraine made the largest gains so far in the war two weeks ago, and this week, Russia announced a military mobilization of 300,000 reservists, prompting a mass exodus from Russia for young people of fighting ages, as reported by the Deseret News.

The voting started Friday and will go until Tuesday, Sept. 27. If the regions are accepted into Russia, the Kremlin warned that any Ukrainian attacks will “be seen as an attack on Russia,” per The Washington Post.

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