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Russian-Occupied Areas of Ukraine to Hold Referendum on Annexation

HeadlineSep 21, 2022

Putin’s speech came a day after Russia’s lower house voted to approve a new law imposing harsher penalties for soldiers who desert or surrender during wartime. Meanwhile, authorities in four Russian-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine have announced plans to hold referendums beginning on Friday to decide if the areas should formally become part of Russia. Ukrainian officials have dismissed the planned votes as a sham. The referendums could lead to Russia annexing about 15% of Ukraine’s territory.

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