Russia-Ukraine war latest updates: Kremlin to hold sham referendums

Moscow-backed separatists and Russian administrators are set to begin holding staged referendums in four Ukrainian territories under Kremlin control from Friday, in the latest salvo of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to formally annex swaths of the country. The vote, which will not be free and fair, represents an escalation of Putin’s invasion. Putin hopes that absorbing the lands will enable him to label attempts by Kyiv to take back its territories as attacks against Russia itself, analysts said.

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