Russian athletes welcomed to Paralympic Games under neutral flag • Putin calls 130,000 conscripts for conscription in the fall

To mark the first anniversary of the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin is organizing a series of concerts in Moscow’s Red Square. The shows start at 4:30pm Dutch time, and feature Russian artists such as Dima Bilan, Sergey Lazarev and the ultra-nationalist shaman. The singer-songwriter quotes Shaman, among other things, in his songs My struggle For Adolf Hitler.

This propaganda meeting, under the slogan “One Country, One Family, One Russia,” comes exactly one year after the illegal referendums that took place in the Ukrainian provinces of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk. The elections were not free, and it is highly unlikely that a majority of Ukrainians in the districts actually agreed to the annexation, which is not recognized by the international community.

The Russian army does not have full control over any of the regions, and has even lost ground in Zaporizhia and Donetsk due to the Ukrainian counterattack. However, Vladimir Putin continues to present the illegal annexation as a success for the Russian people. Yesterday, the Russian President declared September 30, the day on which the illegal annexation took place, “Unification Day.”

Dylan Van Beckum

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Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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