Russia’s Ukraine Annexation Gets International Backing – From North Korea

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kim jong un vladimir putin
Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin meet in Vladivostok in 2019. Photo: ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has found himself increasingly isolated on the international stage as his war in Ukraine has dragged on, but at least he can console himself with the fact that North Korea is sticking by him.

Kim Jong Un’s regime said it was backing Russia’s claimed annexation – rejected as illegal by the West – of four Ukrainian regions after sham referendums last month.

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In a statement released via state media, North Korea’s foreign ministry backed Russia and accused the US of “gangster-like double standards.”

The statement came after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposed by the US condemning the annexation of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

"To maintain the unchallenged 'unipolar world', the US interferes in the internal affairs of independent countries and infringes upon their legal rights by abusing the UNSC,” the statement said.

"The US unleashed wars of aggression against sovereign states including former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the US has not been called into question by the UNSC.”

Despite claiming that the four Ukrainian regions were now part of Russia, the Kremlin wasn’t sure earlier this week exactly what its new borders looked like, as Ukrainian forces continue to regain territory in counteroffensives.

“We will continue consultations with the population regarding the borders of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions,” Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, when asked specifically what territory was now claimed by Russia.

That hasn’t stopped Putin from repeatedly threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons to protect Russia’s borders – even if he’s not entirely sure what they are.