Vladimir Putin news LATEST: World leaders condemn plans for ‘SHAM’ Ukraine vote as tyrant expected to give speech English Headline

Russian occupied regions of Ukraine to vote on annexation

Moscow-held regions of Ukraine will urgently vote on annexation by Russia, separatist officials said Tuesday.

It comes as Kyiv’s troops successfully wrestled back control of territory captured by Moscow’s forces.

Separatist authorities in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as in the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, said they would hold the vote over five days beginning Friday this week.

The regions are on the frontlines of a sweeping Ukrainian counter-offensive that has seen Kyiv’s forces retake hundreds of towns and villages that had been controlled by Russia for months.

Their integration into Russia would represent a major escalation of the conflict as Moscow could try to say it was defending its own territory from Ukrainian forces.

Washington, Berlin and Paris denounced the ballots and said the international community would never recognise the results while NATO said the votes marked a “further escalation” of the war.

Kyiv said the “sham” referendums were meaningless and vowed to “eliminate” threats posed by Russia, saying its forces would keep retaking territory regardless of what Moscow or its proxies announced.

English Headline

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