Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The official annexation of the four occupied Ukrainian regions where referendums were held will be announced tomorrow by Moscow at a special ceremony.
The declaration for the incorporation of the new territories will be signed tomorrow and President Putin will deliver a speech, a Kremlin statement said.
"They can announce whatever they want. Nobody voted in the referendum except for a few people who changed sides. They went from house to house, but no one came out,"
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin is expected to meet with the Moscow-appointed heads of those territories. A reminder that referendums were held in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions.
The referendum was described as illegal by the West and Putin's decision to incorporate the regions into Russia means that Moscow will annex vast areas across eastern and southern Ukraine, representing around 15% of Ukraine's total territory.
Russian-backed officials in four regions of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces said referendums showed that an overwhelming majority of their populations voted in favor of joining Russia.
Residents who fled to Ukraine-controlled areas in recent days said officials "appointed" by Russia carried ballots from house to house and people were forced to cross ballots on the street at gunpoint.
"They can announce whatever they want. Nobody voted in the referendum except for a few people who changed sides. They went from house to house, but no one came out," said Liubomir Boyko, 43, from Golo Pristan, a village in the Russian-occupied Kherson province.
Russia says the vote was voluntary, in accordance with international law, and that turnout was high. However, referendums and pending annexations have been rejected worldwide.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sought to rally international support against the annexation with a series of phone calls to foreign leaders, including those of Britain, Canada, Germany and Turkey.