Top Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev has vowed that Russia will invade more of Ukraine, as Moscow on Saturday marked the anniversary of its illegal annexation of four Ukrainian territories.
The former Russian president declared that victory will soon be Russia’s, as the country continues its “special military operation” to completely erase the “Nazi regime in Kiev.”
His poignant statement came a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson by Moscow following a series of controversial local elections.
Although the Kremlin claims they took place in ‘full compliance with international norms’, the referenda have been fully denounced by the West and not internationally recognised.
“The special military operation will continue until the Nazi regime in Kiev is completely destroyed and the original Russian territories are liberated from the enemy,” Medvedev said.
“The victory will be ours… And there will be more new regions within Russia.”
Putin’s close ally, Dmitry Medvedev, stated that the Russian invasion will continue
The Russian president also marked today’s event – now called ‘Reunification Day’ – and vowed that “nothing and no one” will stop him.
While Putin claims that residents have voluntarily returned to their ‘homeland’, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson are still legally part of Ukraine under international law.
The Russian president also marked September 30 – now dubbed “Reunification Day” – with a promise that “nothing and no one” will stop him in Moscow’s fight against Kiev.
“Nothing and no one can break the will of millions of people, or their faith in truth and historical justice,” Putin vowed.
“The free and unequivocal choice of our brothers and sisters was wholeheartedly supported by the Russian people.
“We deeply understood and felt the most important thing: by defending our compatriots in the Donbas and Novorossiya, we are defending Russia itself.
“Together we fight for the Motherland, for our sovereignty, spiritual values, unity and victory.
“I thank all the citizens of the country for this solidarity and patriotism.”
Hundreds of supporters gathered for an anniversary concert in Moscow’s Red Square, although Putin was not present.
Despite Russia and Ukraine ending up in a grueling 19-month war, the dictator also added that he was building a “common future.”
Hundreds of supporters gathered for a festive concert on Red Square in Moscow
Despite plunging Russia and Ukraine into a grueling 19-month war, the dictator also added that he was building a “common future” by rebuilding schools and hospitals.
“Thanks to you, your steadfastness and determination, Russia has become even stronger,” he continued.
“We are one people, and together we can overcome anything and meet any challenge.”
The speech came after Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday it would deploy 130,000 troops for mandatory military service this fall, starting on October 1 in most regions of the country.
It announced that it would begin recruiting residents of the annexed areas for the first time as part of its biennial military conscription campaign.
Moscow says conscripts are not used for what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, or to serve in the annexed territories, but that conscripts automatically become reservists after their service, and Russia has sent reservists to Ukraine.
In Ukraine, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell referred to the anniversary of Russia’s “illegally annexed” regions in a video recorded during an unannounced visit to the Black Sea port city of Odesa on Saturday.
Speaking from the city’s Transfiguration Cathedral, which was badly damaged by a Russian missile attack in July, Mr Borrell reiterated the EU’s support for Ukraine.
‘Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture and spirit. Instead, it marks the news as a frequent target of Putin’s war,” the head of EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Yesterday, hundreds of supporters gathered at a festive concert on Moscow’s Red Square, although Putin was not present.
Yaroslav Dronov, known by his stage name Shaman, performs at a rally marking the one-year anniversary of Russia’s annexation of four regions
People waving Russian flags attend a concert marking the first anniversary of the annexation of four regions in Ukraine controlled by Russian forces
Meanwhile, the governor of Ukraine’s partially occupied southern Zaporizhia region, Yurii Malashko, said five people were injured on Saturday in two rocket attacks on the village of Matviivka, on the northeastern outskirts of the regional capital, also called Zaporizhia.
Meanwhile, air defenses in Ukraine shot down 30 of 40 Iranian-made kamikaze drones targeting the provinces of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Vinnytsia in one night, the Ukrainian Air Force said.
Vinnytsia regional governor Serhii Borzov said air defenses shot down 20 drones over his central Ukrainian region, but a “powerful fire” broke out in the city of Kalynivka when a drone struck an unspecified infrastructure facility.
Romania’s Ministry of National Defense said on Saturday that “a possible unauthorized access” to the national airspace occurred overnight amid the bombing.
It said the Romanian military’s radar surveillance system had detected the possible incursion into the NATO member’s national airspace, with a signal towards the town of Galati, close to the border with Ukraine.
“At this time, no objects have been identified that fell from airspace onto the national territory,” the statement read, adding that NATO allies were being informed in real time and that searches will continue.
Emergency authorities sent text message alerts to residents of Galati and Tulcea provinces overnight after detecting “groups of drones heading towards Ukrainian territory” near the border, according to the Defense Ministry.
In recent weeks, Romania has found drone fragments on its territory at least three times from the war next door, while Russian forces carried out sustained attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday it had shot down nine Ukrainian missiles fired at the southern Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine.
Local officials in Russia’s Bryansk region, also bordering Ukraine, reported power disruptions after an unspecified attack on the town of Pogar.