Sunday, October 2

Russia-controlled regions of Ukraine hold referendum vote


  • Russian-held regions of Ukraine are voting Friday on referendums that are seen as a step toward annexing the territories by Russia.
  • The referendums ask residents if they want their regions to be part of Russia.
  • If approved, it gives Russia the pretext to claim that Ukrainian forces are attacking Russia itself, dramatically escalating the war.
  • The votes follow Putin’s order of a partial mobilization of reservists, which could add about 300,000 Russian troops.

KYIV, Ukraine — Voting began in Russian-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia, Moscow-backed officials there said Friday as Ukrainian and United Nations officials reported evidence of war crimes during the nearly seven-month war in the country.

The Kremlin-orchestrated referendums, which have been widely denounced by Ukraine and the West as shams without any legal force, are seen as a step toward annexing the territories by Russia. The votes are being held in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

The governor of the Kharkiv region, which was mostly held by Russian forces before a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month, reported Friday that 436 bodies have been exhumed from a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izium, 30 of them with visible signs of torture.


www.usatoday.com

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