Ukraine LIVE: NATO defies Putin's nuclear threats and throws full support behind Zelensky

Vladimir Putin’s speech claiming the four Ukrainian territories of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia following “sham” referendums unveiled his belief in an “existential struggle between Russia and the West”, an expert has revealed.

Vladimir Putin delivered a speech today following the annexation of four Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories.

He decried the west and set up his administration as anti-imperialist after claiming the territories voted to join the country in a series of referendums deemed a “sham”.

The President likely planned his speech as a show of strength, but it has forced him into a corner, experts believe.

Speaking earlier today, Putin illegally claimed Ukraine’s territory while pledging to continue the battle for a “greater historical Russia”.

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