News analysis

Putin portrays annexation as a holy war against the West to silence domestic critics

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen in Moscow's Red Square as he addresses a rally marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine. PHOTO: AFP
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LONDON - Ukraine has formally ruled out any ceasefire talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to his decision to annex around 15 per cent of Russian-occupied Ukrainian land.

"It is obvious that (these talks) are impossible with this Russian president," a visibly angry Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told his nation soon after Mr Putin announced the annexation.

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