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Developed News Story | Russian proxies in Ukraine claim victory

May be the foreign plans to remove Putin from power, but they will remain mere schemes, for Putin looks prepared for them

Kyiv and the West dismiss the referendums in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine as a ‘sham’.

Members of an electoral commission count ballots at a polling station following a referendum on the joining of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to Russia, in Donetsk, Ukraine [Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

Hastily arranged votes took place in four areas – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson – that make up about 15 percent of Ukrainian territory.

By late on Tuesday evening Russia-installed election officials announced that 93 percent of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhia region were in support of annexation, as were 87 percent of ballots in the southern Kherson region and 98 percent in Luhansk.

Results from the Donetsk region were expected to follow later on Tuesday.

Within the occupied territories, Russian-installed officials took ballot boxes from house to house in what Ukraine and the West said was an illegitimate, coercive exercise to create a legal pretext for Russia to annex the four regions.

President Vladimir Putin could then portray any Ukrainian attempt to recapture them as an attack on Russia itself. He said last week he was willing to use nuclear weapons to defend the “territorial integrity” of Russia.

Podcast | Developed News Story | Russian proxies in Ukraine claim victory | subtitles included

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