Russian President Vladimir Putin signed papers to formally, but illegally, annex four regions in Ukraine — an area the size of Ohio — after what the West calls “sham referendums.”@nickschifrin reports. https://t.co/AuNEXtbqGD pic.twitter.com/Two8benxUN— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 30, 2022
It's a funny old thing, Putin claiming he has possession of these regions and that they are inviolately Russian. The regions in question don't even really think that. Putin held a "gun to the head" referendum and forced an agreement to maybe consider Russia in charge of certain regions so that the people living there don't die.
Much of his speech sounded like it was about culture war stuff crafted to appeal to a certain segment of the West--the kind that looks up to someone like Giorgia Meloni, or like Trump. He actually sounded a bit like he was jealous of Orban and his welcome at CPAC. No one should think what he is doing here boils down to concern about pronouns or liberal decadence.
It is a naked power grab and his claim to this area is without any merit at all.