Russian-backed officials in four occupied regions of Ukraine are holding self-styled referendums on joining Russia.

Denounced as illegitimate and a shame by Ukraine and the West, these so-called votes are taking place over five days while all four areas – two in the east and two in the south – are on the front line.

An annexation could could lead to a claim by Russia that its territory is coming under attack from Western weapons supplied to Ukraine.
This however could escalate the war further.

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