The Kremlin affirms that the four freshly annexed regions of Ukraine would be secured by Moscow’s nuclear weapons.
On October 18, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters: “These areas are an important component of the Russian Federation and are also promised security like other Russian territory.”
Four Ukrainian provinces—Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia—equaling 18% of Ukraine’s land area—will be merged with Russia under a law that Russian President Vladimir Putin approved earlier this month. Following a contentious vote by four Ukrainian separatist areas in late September, the decision was finalised.
Putin declared that anyone residing in these four areas had “became citizens of Russia forever” and that Moscow will “use all available means” to defend the new territory. Earlier, he emphasised that Russia is prepared to defend its territorial integrity with “any means at our disposal,” including nuclear weapons.
Against September 30, the Kremlin issued a warning, stating that any attack on Russian-annexed territory will be viewed as an attack on Russia. This implies that Russia’s “nuclear umbrella” will cover the four newly seized regions.
Meanwhile, Ukraine vowed to take back all of its territory, including the Crimean peninsula. Since the end of August, Kiev began a strong counter-offensive campaign in both the East and the South, regaining control of more than 1,000 square kilometers of territory even in areas that had been annexed by Russia.