Russia to begin annexation votes in Ukrainian regions

September 23, 2022 12:27 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Russia will on Friday begin its plan to annex around 15% of Ukrainian territory via referendums in four regions controlled by Russian forces.

This move has been labelled by the West a a gross violation of international law that significantly escalates the war.

After nearly seven months of war, and a critical battlefield defeat in northeastern Ukraine earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin explicitly backed the referendums after the Russian-controlled regions lined up to ask for swift votes to join Russia.

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The self-styled Donetsk and the Luhansk People’s Republics, which Putin recognised as independent just before the invasion, and Russian-installed administrations in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will hold votes.

The voting, which the West and Ukraine says is a sham, is due to begin later tonight and will end on Tuesday, with results expected soon afterwards.

Russia will formally annex the areas after the results.