Vladimir Putin hails millions in annexed territories for defending their choice to be with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the millions of ordinary citizens who, he said, “heroically» defended their choice to be with Russia when the annexation of four Ukrainian territories were announced. Vladimir Putin said millions of citizens, whose culture has been «destroyed», carried the «love for their historical homeland in their hearts». The Russian president said in the heat of the battle, they «heroically» came to the referendum and made their choice to be with Russia.

Vladimir Putin made the remarks at the «People’s Choice: Together Forever» concert rally from Red Square, where he formally announced the annexation of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Lugansk.

Vladimir Putin took part in the rally in support of the accession of the DPR, LPR, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to Russia. Addressing the crowd during the rally, Vladimir Putin called the day a «special, momentous and, without exaggeration, historic day, a day of truth and justice.»

Vladimir Putin said he cannot help but go back to the time when Russia was “creating modern Ukraine».

Vladimir Putin said, “It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, giving it significant swathes of land, historical lands of Russia, along with the people, who no one asked about where and how they want to live, how they see the future of their children, and in which country. The same thing happened when the Soviet Union broke apart. The elites decided everything among themselves, and no one asked millions of ordinary citizens anything.»

Vladimir Putin also said that asserted only «modern Russia» has given the residents of Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson the «right to choose.»

Vladimir Putin said, «The elections were going on in Lugansk, and people were standing in line in the street waiting to get into the polling station. The artillery shelling began. A shell landed nearby, not far away, but no one left the line to the polling station. Amazing!»

“They have been trying to eradicate historical consciousness from these people, to destroy their traditions, to forbid them from speaking their native language, and to ban culture — nothing of that came to pass,» the Russian president said.

«These people carried the love for their historical homeland in their hearts and passed it along to their children. That is why we are saying that Russia is not just opening the doors of its native home to our brothers and sisters; it is opening its heart to them. Welcome home!»

«You and I are here today on Red Square, but they are not here at the parade. They are in the heat of the battle, heroically defending the choice that the people made several days ago. I know what I am talking about. Heroically is the word.»

(With agency inputs)

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