Ukraine war: Russian-occupied regions start voting in 'sham referendums'

Friday - 23/09/2022 09:35
The moves followed months of conflicting signals from Moscow and separatist officials about the referendums that reflected the shifts on the battlefield.
FILE - Billboard reads: "With Russia forever, September 27", before referendum in Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, 22 September 2022AP/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
FILE - Billboard reads: "With Russia forever, September 27", before referendum in Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, 22 September 2022AP/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Four occupied regions in Ukraine are set to start voting Friday in Kremlin-engineered referendums on whether to become part of Russia, setting the stage for Moscow to annex the areas in a sharp escalation of the nearly seven-month war.

Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected the votes as illegitimate and neither free nor fair, saying they will have no binding force. 

German chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden both branded the votes as "sham referenda" this week, while French President Emmanuel Macron said they would have “no legal consequences,” and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called them “noise” to distract the public.

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Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Ukraine, Russia

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