The Chamber of the Russian Parliament unanimously condemned the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia on Tuesday, in violation of international law.
The Federation Council adopted constitutional laws on the illegal annexation of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The lower house, the State Duma, also voted unanimously on Monday to authorize the illegal annexation, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies effectively control both branches of Russia’s legislature, and the space for political dissent in Russia has shrunk in recent years.
The four accession documents – one from each region – will now go to Putin’s desk.
Under the laws, residents of the new entities were recognized as Russian citizens beginning on September 30, when formal accession agreements between the Russian Federation and the four regions were signed in the Kremlin’s St. George Hall.
Following the results of the so-called referendums, Putin made a formal speech at the event on Friday, declaring that millions of people living in the four regions would become Russian citizens “forever”.
Russian-backed leaders have held elections in four regions in recent weeks. The votes are illegal under international law, and were dismissed as a “sham” by Kyiv and Western leaders.
Residents of the new regions can obtain Russian citizenship by submitting applications and taking an oath as Russian citizens, according to TASS.
According to the laws, the DPR and LPR will remain as republics after the reunification of Russia and Russian will be the official language. Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will also join Russia as a constituent entity and continue to be called “regions,” TASS reported.
The borders of the republics and regions will be the same as they were on the day Russia was created and joined, and the borders with other countries will be considered the state borders of Russia, according to TASS.
According to TASS, the DPR and LPR are joining Russia in their “constitutions” under the 2014 borders.
The moves in the Russian Parliament contradict the situation of the war in Ukraine, where Kiev has made major gains in the east and south of the country and has forced Moscow to retreat from several positions in areas the Kremlin is holding.