From Jamie Peipon: What a day. The president of russia gave a bizarre speech today at the kremlin. He then proceeded to sign several documents to “officially” accept the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions into the russian federation. Here is an exhaustive list that I’ve painstakingly accumulated of every single change made to Ukraine’s borders as a result of this action:
There has not been one, single, solitary change to Ukraine’s borders as a result of this action.
End of list.
putin’s speech was truly bizarre. It is not even worth picking apart in detail. The bottom line is that he pretended that Ukraine was the aggressor as he called for a cease fire and for Ukraine to “end the war they started back in 2014.” He literally called western ideology “pure satanism.” He accused the west of neo-colonialism (which is a pretty bold move to announce at a glorified press conference to announce a military annexation of a neighboring country). Also, America is to blame for everything. It was the most anti-American speech I’ve ever heard from him. Of course, the speech concluded with a standing ovation.
But that speech was just the beginning of this crazy day. While giving the speech, putin’s army was trying to flee the city of Lyman under heavy Ukrainian fire. This probably makes putin the first world leader in history that has tried to annex a country at the same time that his army is retreating on the battlefield. There have been reports in the last hour of Ukrainian troops actually entering the city of Lyman. It is a fascinating juxtaposition to have a rally on red square while your own army is being defeated. For some reason, putin didn’t mention this little fact in his speech.
What you see in the picture above also happened this morning. In the Zaporizhzhe region, russia attacked a humanitarian convoy with a missile. At least 30 were killed and more were injured. The current russian-installed head of that region was in Moscow celebrating this region as “liberated” while russians were actually killing Ukrainians there.
Nations around the world stated that they would never recognize the results of the referenda. The UN Security Council also drafted a resolution to condemn russia’s referenda. Unsurprisingly, when it came time to vote, the resolution did not pass because it was vetoed by… you guessed it… russia. China and India abstained from voting.
In a surprise move, Zelenskyy signed an urgent request to be accepted into NATO. The short story is that this changes nothing. Because of Article 5 of the NATO treaty (an attack on one is the equivalent to attack on all), countries with disputed territories are not admitted. Of course, NATO makes their own rules and they can accept anyone they want at any time. The process, however, is that every country in the alliance has to approve any new members and that just isn’t going to happen. Zelenskyy knew that when signing the paper as well. My read is that he had the following goals: 1. To steal some thunder from the ridiculous russian announcements today, 2. To apply some pressure to NATO so that they continue supplying weapons, 3. To state clearly the direction Ukraine tends to go. After all, putin has claimed that one of the main reasons this war is necessary is because of NATO encroachment so if NATO ends up on his doorstep, that’s another loss for putin.
“Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man