Putin may announce the annexation of the occupied regions of Ukraine this week, Britain claims

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Vladimir Putin / Photo: EPA-EFE / MIKHAIL METZEL

There is a "real possibility" that Russian President Vladimir Putin will announce the annexation of occupied regions of Ukraine when he addresses the Russian parliament on Friday, Britain's Ministry of Defense says, reports The BBC.

Referendums have been held in the occupied areas of the country for several days and should end today.

Ukraine and the West say the result has already been decided by the Kremlin and will be used as an excuse to illegally appropriate the territories.

"Russian leaders almost certainly hope that any announcement of accession will be seen as a justification for a 'special military operation' and consolidate patriotic support for the conflict," the Defense Ministry said.

But it added that this hope "is likely to be undermined by growing domestic awareness of Russia's recent battlefield setbacks and considerable Russian anger over the partial mobilization."

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