Kyiv residents praise NATO membership bid

STORY: "It’s long overdue," said 50-year-old Kyiv resident Larysa.

Zelenskiy signed the NATO application papers in an online video clearly intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Russian President Vladimir Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim four partially occupied regions as annexed Russian land.

Russia moved to annex the regions after holding what it called referendums – votes that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.

Zelenskiy said that while Ukraine waits for consensus among NATO member states, it could be protected under draft security guarantees proposed by Kyiv and known as the Kyiv Security Compact, which Moscow has rejected as an idea.