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Vladimir Putin signs treaties annexing Ukrainian regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed treaties to annex occupied areas of Ukraine and said he would use “all available means” to protect the territory that Ukrainian and western officials said Moscow was claiming illegitimately and in violation of international law. In a speech preceding the treaty-signing ceremony, Mr Putin urged Ukraine to sit down for talks to end the seven months of fighting that started when he ordered his troops to invade the neighbouring country. But he warned that Russia would never give up the absorbed regions and would protect them as part of its sovereign territory.
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