Zelenskyy calls on Ukrainians to undermine referendum in Russian-held areas
On Friday, a referendum got underway in occupied regions of Ukraine that sought to make them part of Russia, with some officials carrying ballots to apartment blocks accompanied by police officers.
Kyiv and the West condemned it as a rigged election whose result was preordained by Moscow. The Group of Seven industrialized nations said Friday they "strongly condemned" the vote.
The referendums in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions were widely seen as a prelude to Moscow annexing the regions. The voting overseen by authorities installed by Russia, scheduled to run through Tuesday, is almost certain to go the Kremlin's way.
Authorities in the Kherson region said residents of a small Moscow-controlled area of the neighbouring Mykolaiv province also will be able to vote, and that small area was "incorporated" into Kherson until all of Mykolaiv is taken over by Russian forces.
Ukraine and the West said the vote was an illegitimate attempt by Moscow to slice away a large part of the country, stretching from the Russian border to the Crimean Peninsula.
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