Moscow has paved the way to annex more of Ukraine by claiming large majorities in occupied areas want to join Russia in votes the West dismisses as a “sham”.
Russia claims wins in ‘sham’ referendums over Ukraine regions
Russian-installed officials in four occupied regions of Ukraine have reported huge majorities of votes in favour of joining Russia as the United States planned a UN resolution condemning referendums as shams and Moscow remained defiant.
Europe was investigating what Germany, Sweden and Denmark said on Tuesday were attacks that caused major leaks from two Russian energy pipelines. But it remained far from clear who might be behind the leaks.
Hastily arranged votes took place over five days in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson to the south that together make up about 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory.
Vote tallies from partial results on Tuesday ranged from 87 per cent to 98.5 per cent in favor of joining Russia, according to Russia-appointed officials and Russian media. The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament said the chamber might consider the incorporation of the four regions into Russia on October 4.