The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has endorsed the annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions to Russia.
Not even one deputy voted against the move which was warmly welcomed by speaker of the house, Vyacheslav Volodin.
"Today is a momentous day for us. We are all aware that the only way to save the inhabitants living in the territory of the four entities, the Luhansk People's Republic, the Donetsk People's Republic, the Zaporizhzhia region and the Kherson region, is reunification, joining the Russian Federation."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was also there. He accused the west of emulating Hitler and of using Ukraine for their own purposes.
Despite the vote, Russia is losing ground in areas it now considers its sovereign territory. Ukrainian forces have recently captured Lyman in northern Donetsk, from Moscow's forces. The Russian military also acknowledged that its lines around Kherson in the south had been breached