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Russia-Ukraine war latest updates: Kremlin to hold sham referendums – The Washington Post

Moscow launched staged referendums on Friday in Ukrainian territory under its control, a dramatic escalation to consolidate its grip over swaths of the country. Here’s the latest on the war and its impact across the globe.

Key developments

  • The referendums on the prospect of joining Russia, illegal under international law, will last five days in Ukraine’s east and southeast: the separatist Luhansk and Donetsk territories in the eastern Donbas region, Kherson in the south and occupied parts of nearby Zaporizhzhia. Russian news agencies said hundreds of polling stations will open and refugees in Russia will take part in these staged referendums, which have drawn global condemnation as a plan for Moscow to absorb Ukrainian territory.
  • Kremlin-backed authorities assured support for the annexation of Ukrainian territory. “We’re coming home,” Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, said Friday in a video. President Vladimir Putin has declared his support for the process, with little doubt that the announced result will overwhelmingly favor becoming part of Russia. When the Kremlin annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after a disputed vote, it claimed that 97 percent backed joining Russia.
  • Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said Donbas and other regions “will be accepted into Russia.” Medvedev, deputy head of the Security Council, also suggested Moscow could use nuclear weapons to defend those territories. Washington has for months sent private warnings to Moscow about grave consequences if it used a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, though it was unclear whether any messages were sent in recent days, The Washington Post reported.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attacked the legitimacy of the referendums. Speaking in Russian, he urged Russians to resist the partial military mobilization Putin announced this week. “Tens of thousands are wounded and maimed. Want more? No? Then protest. Fight back. Run away. Or surrender to Ukrainian captivity. These are options for you to survive,” he said in his nightly address.


Area held

by Russia-

backed

separatists

before

Feb. 2022

Kirovohrad

Zaporizhzhia

ZAPORIZHZHIA

Rostov-

on-Don

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Novorossiysk

Sevastopol

Control areas as of Sept. 11

Sources: Institute for the Study of War, AEI’s Critical Threats Project

Ukrainian reclaimed territory

through counteroffensives

Russian-held

areas

Area held

by Russia-

backed

separatists

before

Feb. 2022

Kramatorsk

Zaporizhzhia

Rostov-

on-Don

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Novorossiysk

Sevastopol

Control areas as of Sept. 11

Sources: Institute for the Study of War, AEI’s Critical Threats Project

Ukrainian reclaimed territory

through counteroffensives

Russian-held

areas

Area held

by Russia-

backed

separatists

before

Feb. 2022

Zaporizhzhia

Rostov-

on-Don

Sevastopol

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Control areas as of Sept. 11

Sources: Institute for the Study of War

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