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Occupied Ukraine holds vote prepared by Kremlin on joining Russia

Voting was also held in Russia, with refugees and other residents of these regions voting.

Denis Pushirin, the separatist leader in the Moscow-backed Donetsk region, called the referendum a “historic milestone.”

Soldiers of the Luhansk People’s Republic voting at a polling station in Luhansk.credit:APs

“If you decide to become part of the Russian Federation, we will support you,” politician Vyacheslav Volodin, president of the Russian Duma, said in an online statement to the region.

Thousands of people attended pro-Kremlin rallies across Russia in support of the referendum, according to news outlets. “Long live the great united Russian people!” one speaker told a large audience at a rally and concert in central Moscow. we do not abandon ourselves.

Luhansk governor Serhi Hayday accused officials of removing the names of those who voted against joining Russia. Haidai also claimed in an online post that Russian officials threatened to kick down the door of those who did not want to vote.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky only briefly mentioned a “fake” referendum in his speech. Switching from Ukrainian to Russian, he said that under President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization order on Wednesday, Russian citizens were “driven to their death.”

Demonstrators carry the Russian flag, a flag with the letter Z, which has become the symbol of the Russian army, and a hashtag that reads

Demonstrators carry the Russian flag, a flag with the letter Z, which has become the symbol of the Russian army, and a hashtag that reads “We will not give ourselves up” during the action.credit:APs

“You are already an accomplice in all these crimes, murders and tortures against Ukrainians,” he said. “Because you were silent. The choice for Russian women is to lose their husbands, sons and grandchildren forever, or to protect them from death, war and one man.”

Putin’s partial mobilization of reservists could add about 300,000 troops, his defense minister said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the plan to call up up to 1.2 million troops as false media reports.

Across the vast country, men hugged crying families before leaving as part of the rally. Anti-war activists planned more protests for Saturday.

Other Russian men desperately tried to leave the country, hoarding the missing plane tickets and causing hours or days of traffic jams at some borders. The lines of cars at the border with Kazakhstan were so long that some abandoned their cars and walked, as some Ukrainians did after Russia invaded their country on February 24.

APs

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Occupied Ukraine holds vote prepared by Kremlin on joining Russia

Source link Occupied Ukraine holds vote prepared by Kremlin on joining Russia

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