Russia to annex parts of Ukraine in a ceremony, after resident voting denounced as 'sham'

The four Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine to be annexed are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Updated: September 29, 2022 - 10:20am

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The Kremlin says the parts of occupied Ukraine set to be annexed after a "sham" voter referendum will be officially made part of Russia in a ceremony Friday.

The announcement was made Thursday by the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Putin spokesperson said the ceremony will start with the signing of a treaty to make the four occupied areas – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – part of Russia, according to state-run media agency Tass.

Putin is set to give a speech at the event, roughly seven months after he invaded neighboring Ukraine.

The Kremlin says the voter participation in the recent, five-day referendum was as high as 97.5% in some areas and that over 96% of residents voted in support of becoming part of Russia.

The election has been criticized by international leaders as a "sham," and Russian troops reportedly went door-to-door with election officials to collect ballots in the referendum.

Putin earlier this month ordered a "partial" military mobilization that included the calling up of roughly 300,000 military reserves for the war effort. 

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