Zelensky: Annexation of Ukraine "will not mean" what Russia hopes for
Driving the news: Russia is planning to annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia on Friday, a Kremlin spokesperson told reporters.
- The move will dramatically raise the stakes as the war in Ukraine enters its seventh month.
The big picture: The escalation is expected to further isolate the Kremlin, draw more international calls for punishment and bring in more aid to Ukraine, AP reports.
What he's saying: "Everyone in the world understands well what such an attempted annexation would actually mean," Zelensky said Thursday. "It will not mean what the Kremlin hopes for."
State of play: Zelensky said Thursday that he spoke with leaders of Italy, Poland and France, adding to efforts by the U.S. to mobilize the international community to reject the Kremlin's annexation attempt, The Hill reports.