Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday presided to annex four Ukrainian regions partly occupied by his forces.
Putin signed treaties to annex Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia at a grand ceremony.
Putin annexed the regions despite warnings from the West and the fact that Russian forces do not control the entirety of the regions.
The longtime Russian leader said the people of the regions had made a "univocal choice" to join Russia after so-called referendums that Moscow organized.
"I want to say this to the Ukraine regime and its masters in the West: People living in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia (regions) are becoming our citizens forever."
In a speech before signing the treaties, Putin demanded that Ukraine stop all military action.
He added; "We call on the Ukraine regime to immediately stop fighting and stop all hostilities and return to the negotiating table."