Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Before Tuesday’s vote in Russia’s upper house of parliament on the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian territories, a Federation Council senator flagged that not all areas are fully under Moscow’s control.
“From the date of signing of these agreements, the line of contact has changed, and at present we are recommended to accept regions, part of the territories of which are occupied by the armed forces of another country, into the Russian Federation,” Lyudmila Narusova said, asking for an explanation.
The Constitutional Court, which ruled that the incorporation of the four regions was in compliance with the Russian constitution, does not assess political matters or the line of contact on the ground, Senator Andrey Klishas, chair of the Federation Council committee on constitutional legislation, replied.
Klishas reiterated the Kremlin’s position that Russian authorities intervened to protect the “human rights” of the residents of the four regions.
After the discussion at the Federation Council, Narusova still voted for the laws. The Federation Council unanimously approved the accession of the four Ukrainian regions.
In the Federation Council, Narusova represents the Russian republic of Tuva, in southern Siberia. She is the mother of Ksenia Sobchak, a controversial public figure and a TV host, who ran for the presidency in 2018.
Some context: The formalization process of the illegal annexation is in violation of international law. It follows so-called referendums held by Russian-backed leaders across the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in recent weeks. The ballots are illegal under international law and were condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies as “sham.”