Referendums were recently held in four regions of Ukraine occupied by Russia. President Vladimir Putin will sign official documents on Friday to join the four regions of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk with Russia. Through this, Putin will officially announce the joining of four regions with Russia. Reuters news.

Analysts say Putin’s move is one of several legal steps that would formally annex 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory to Russia. This shows that despite suffering a major military disaster this month, Ukraine has doubled the level of war against the country.

Kyiv and Western countries claim that the referendum was held at Gun Point on Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory. This process has been condemned internationally as an illegal occupation of war-torn land.

Washington and the European Union are poised to impose additional sanctions on Russia over the plan. Even some of Russia’s close traditional allies, such as Serbia and Kazakhstan, have said they will not recognize the annexation.

Pro-Russian leaders in Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk said the signing ceremony would take place in one of the Kremlin’s largest halls with Moscow. Russia claims the referendums were normal and there was full public support for the move.

Regarding the annexation, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the four regions where the referendum was held will sign the agreement on joining the Russian Federation. Those concerned with the Russian side have requested in this regard.

Peskov also said that Putin will give a big speech on this issue. A big rock concert will be held on Friday in Moscow’s Red Square where a tribune with a giant video screen has already been set up. The billboards there read ‘Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, Kherson – Russia!’ has been announced.

Peskov did not say whether Putin would attend the concert. He held a similar event in 2014 after Russia announced its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Putin publicly endorsed the annexation plan in a speech last week. There he also threatened to use nuclear weapons if necessary to defend Russian territory.

According to some military experts, Kyiv is poised for another major defeat. They are gradually encircling the city of Lyman, Russia’s main remaining base in the northern part of Donetsk province. Collapsing it could open the way for Ukrainian forces to attack much of the territory that Russia is now considering annexing.

The head of Russia’s upper house of parliament said the chamber could consider annexing the four regions on Oct. 4, three days before Putin’s 70th birthday.

Russian government officials say the four regions will fall under Moscow’s nuclear umbrella once they are formally incorporated into Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has tried to rally international support against annexation in a series of phone calls with foreign leaders, including Britain, Canada, Germany and Turkey.

Among them, the United States unveiled a $1.1 billion arms aid package for Ukraine. These include 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HUMERS) launchers, accompanying munitions, various counter drone systems and radar systems. The announcement brings US security assistance to Ukraine to $16.2 billion.

The United States has also said it will impose new sanctions on Russia for the referendum, and the European Union is expected to back a new sanctions package against Russia in the coming days.

(September 29)