Putin speech: What time is it and what is he going to say about annexing Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via a video link in Moscow on September 29, 2022. (Photo by Gavriil GRIGOROV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin is set to announce the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. (Getty)

Vladimir Putin is set to announce the annexation of four more areas of Ukraine in a major speech at the Kremlin on Friday.

The announcement - along with a 'signing ceremony' - follows referendums in the regions that have been branded a sham by the Ukraine and the west.

The move has been described by the UN as a "dangerous escalation" in the current situation in the region.

Here is what we know about Putin's appearance today.

A view shows screens and banners on constructions erected ahead of an expected event, dedicated to the results of referendums on the joining of four Ukrainian self-proclaimed regions to Russia, near the Kremlin and Red Square in central Moscow, Russia September 29, 2022. Banners read:
Screens and banners were erected near the Kremlin ahead of Friday's planned event. (Reuters)

What time is the speech?

According to Putin's spokesman, a ceremony will take place at 3pm Russian time (12pm GMT) on Friday in the St George's Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The ceremony comes eight years after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine following an invasion and a similar vote.

A stage has reportedly been set up in Moscow's Red Square, with billboards proclaiming the four regions part of Russia and a concert planned for the evening.

What is Putin going to say?

Putin will proclaim the "the entry of new territories into the Russian Federation" - Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

Russia has claimed referendums in the areas had resulted in up to 99% of people voting to join their "historic motherland".

Watch: Joe Biden says US will 'never, never' recognise Ukraine regions as part of Russia

The votes have been described as bogus, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying: "The Kremlin's sham referenda are a futile effort to mask what amounts to a further attempt at a land grab in Ukraine."

The UN’s secretary general António Guterres warned Russia that the move would mark a "dangerous escalation" in the conflict that would jeopardise the prospects for peace in the region.

Read more: Head of Russian church tells soldiers that death in Ukraine will cleanse their sins

He said if Russia moved ahead with the plans, it would "prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially in developing countries, and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond".

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak branded the event at the Kremlin as a "freak show," writing on Twitter: "Non-existent entities cannot enter a country which is disintegrating."