Putin tells residents of annexed Ukrainian regions, “Welcome home!”

The Kremlin leader addressed huge crowds in Moscow tonight (Image: Sky News/EPA)

The Kremlin leader addressed huge crowds in Moscow tonight (Image: Sky News/EPA)

Vladimir Putin says Russia will support its “brothers and sisters” in newly annexed regions.

Huge crowds gathered in Moscow’s Red Square tonight for a concert that followed Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

“Welcome home,” Putin said, speaking directly to the thousands in the annexed country during a speech tonight.

He told the crowd, “We will do everything we can to support our brothers and sisters in new regions.

“The victory will be ours.”

Footage from the event featured flags with the pro-war “Z” symbol between the country’s flags.

Huge chants of “Russia! Russia!’ could also be heard in the audience.

Putin’s proclamation of Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine – the largest annexation in Europe since World War II – was firmly rebuffed by angry Western countries.

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Vladimir Putin can be seen on a screen addressing tonight’s event (Image: AFP)

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The pro-war Z symbol was seen in the crowd (Image: Reuters)

Both the United States and Great Britain announced new sanctions after outcry.

In a speech earlier this morning, Putin signaled that he was ready to continue the fight for what he called a “greater historic Russia”.

The four Ukrainian regions he said would be absorbed by Russia had made a historic decision, Putin said.

He added: “They have chosen to be with their people, their motherland, to live with their destiny and to triumph with them. The truth is on our side. Russia is with us!’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Denis Pushilin, Leonid Pasechnik, Vladimir Saldo and Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian-installed leaders in Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, attend a concert marking the declared annexation of the Russian-controlled Quadruple Territories marks Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions after they held so-called referendums in the Occupied Territories of Ukraine on September 30, 2022 in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, condemned by Kyiv and governments worldwide. REUTERS/Reuters Photographer

Vladimir Putin and Denis Pushilin, Leonid Pasechnik, Vladimir Saldo, Yevgeny Balitsky – the Russian-installed leaders in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions (Image: Reuters)

The Russian president had made the remarks to his country’s political elite, who had gathered in one of the Kremlin’s most magnificent halls to watch him sign the annexation documents.

He told the group: “The people who live in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhia region will forever become our compatriots.

“We will defend our country with all our strength and all our means,” he said, calling on “the Kiev regime to cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiating table.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/30/putin-tells-residents-of-annexed-ukraine-regions-welcome-home-17482955/ Putin tells residents of annexed Ukrainian regions, "Welcome home!"

Justin Scacco

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