The final day of voting is taking place in Russian-held regions of Ukraine
Published: 2022-09-27 03:38 am
Voting to wrap up in Russia-held areas of Ukraine

The final day of voting is taking place in Russian-held regions of Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine -- The final day of voting was taken place in Russian-held regions of Ukraine Tuesday, a referendum that is expected to serve as a pretext for their annexation by Moscow but that is rejected as a sham by Kyiv and its Western allies.

The five-day voting, in which residents are asked whether they want their regions to become part of Russia, has been anything but free or fair. Tens of thousands of residents had already fled the regions amid the war, and images shared by those who remained showed armed Russian troops going door-to-door to pressure Ukrainians into voting.

The balloting on Tuesday was held at polling stations.

The Kremlin is expected to move immediately to absorb the regions once the voting is over, with President Vlaidmir Putin expected to declare their incorporation into Russia later this week.

Russian media also speculated that Putin may follow up on last week's order of partial mobilization by declaring martial law and shutting the nation's borders for all men of fighting age.

The mobilization has triggered a massive exodus of men from the country, fueled protests in many regions across Russia and sparked occasional acts of violence. On Monday, a gunman opened fire in an enlistment office in a Siberian city and gravely wounded the local chief military recruitment officer. The shooting came after scattered arson attacks on enlistment offices.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday once again decried the Russian mobilization as nothing more than “an attempt to provide commanders on the ground with a constant stream of cannon fodder.”

Zelenskyy vowed that the Ukrainian military will push efforts to take back “the entire territory of Ukraine,” and has drawn up plans to counter “new types of weapons” used by Russia.

Putin has warned that once the Russia-held regions are absorbed, Moscow will defend its territory with “all available means," including nuclear weapons, raising fears of a sharp escalation of the seven-month conflict.

Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, said Russia would pay a high, if unspecified, price if it made good on veiled threats to use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine.

“If Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia. The United States will respond decisively,” he told NBC.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that Putin had told Turkey’s president last week that Moscow was ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine but had “new conditions” for a cease-fire.

Even as the voting has continued in Russia-held areas, Russian forces have kept up their strikes across Ukraine. Overnight, Russian missile attacks targeted the southern areas of Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv, damaging residential buildings and other sites, officials said.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at

Read Full Story

More than half of Americans want COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible: Poll - 2 years ago
An increasing number of Americans are anxious to get COVID-19 vaccines as the rollout continues, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
Read More

With region on edge, Iran kicks off annual air defense drill - 1 year ago
Iran has kicked off a massive, two-day air defense drill in the country’s sprawling central desert in another show of force by the Islamic Republic
Read More

Police find 18 migrants in North Macedonia, nab car driver - 7 months ago
Police in North Macedonia say a patrol discovered 18 migrants in the south of the country and arrested a car driver, a 27-year-old North Macedonian, after a brief chase
Read More

5 days after crash, 2nd black box eludes China searchers - 8 months ago
Five days after the crash of a passenger jet in mountainous southern China, the disaster's cause remains a mystery while the search for the plane's second black box continues
Read More