Pro-Russian officials in Ukraine claim victory in annexation votes

AFP , Tuesday 27 Sep 2022

Officials in two Moscow-occupied regions in southern Ukraine on Tuesday claimed victory in a referendum for a merger with Russia amid international condemnation of a sham ballot.

Referendum committee members empty a ballot box to start counting them, at a polling station during a referendum in Luhansk, Luhansk People s Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. AP


The local poll body in the southern Zaporizhzhia region said 93.11 percent of voters opted for Russian annexation after all the ballots were counted.

It however said this was a preliminary result.

In Kherson, also in the south, authorities said 87.05 percent of voters opted for Russian annexation after a vote count was completed.

In the eastern Lugansk region controlled by pro-Russia separatists, 91.2 percent of the votes were counted and the majority favoured annexation by Russia, according to local authorities.

"It is clear" that Lugansk will return to the Russian fold, Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic, said on Telegram.

The United Nations meanwhile said it was "committed" to Ukraine's "territorial integrity" within "recognised" borders.

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