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Russia-Ukraine war U.S. imposes new sanctions over Russia’s illegal annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 30 announced that Moscow would annex four Ukrainian provinces following staged "referendums." (Video: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees Friday to annex four regions of Ukraine. In a grand ceremony in the Kremlin, he said Russia would formally incorporate Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions — and that the people living there would “be our citizens forever.”

The United States and Western nations denounced the move as a flagrant violation of international law, with the Biden administration announcing a new round of sanctions against Russian military and government officials, as well as defense procurement networks in Russia and Belarus.

7 key moments in Putin’s annexation speech

But even as Moscow moved to annex the Zaporizhzhia region, suspected Russian missiles struck a civilian convoy there and killed more than 25 people early Friday, Ukrainian officials said.

Here’s what to know

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country was applying for “accelerated ascension” into NATO, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday. But the remarks were more symbolic than practical: The speedy admittance of Ukraine would require NATO members to immediately send troops to fight Russia under the alliance’s collective defense obligations.
  • “The United States is never going to recognize” the results of the staged referendums, President Biden said in remarks on Friday. “And quite frankly, the world is not going to recognize it either.”
  • A United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s “illegal, so-called referenda” in Ukraine, and calling on “all states” not to recognize Moscow’s annexation, failed to pass at the Security Council Friday following Russia’s veto.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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