Russia Starts Annexation Vote in Occupied Areas of Ukraine

Russia launched referendums on Friday aimed at annexing four occupied regions of Ukraine.
Voting in the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia in the east and southeast, representing about 15 percent of Ukrainian territory, was due to run from Friday to Tuesday.
Over 20.5 percent of voters eligible to vote in the Zaporizhzhia region and 15 percent of those in the Kherson region voted on Friday, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, citing local electoral officials.
“In our view, that’s enough for the first day of voting,” the head of Kherson’s Russian-installed election commission, Marina Zakharova, was quoted as saying.
Polling stations were also set up in Moscow, for residents of those regions now living in Russia. Flag-waving government supporters attended rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg in favor of the referendums and the Ukraine war effort….

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