Russia to annex parts of Ukraine after overwhelming support in what critics call 'sham' referendum
Unlike a traditional election, armed Russian troops went door-to-door with election officials over five days to collect ballots.
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Russia is set Wednesday to formally annex parts of occupied Ukraine amid international outcry over a weekend referendum in which voters allegedly agreed to the annexation with overwhelming support.
Moscow said voter turnout was as high as 97.5% in some areas and that over 96% of residents of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia voted to join Russia in its annexation effort, according to state-run news agency Tass.
However, unlike a traditional balloting, armed Russian troops went door-to-door with election officials over five days to collect ballots, according to The Associated Press.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called the election a "propaganda show."
"Forcing people in these territories to fill out some papers at the barrel of a gun is yet another Russian crime in the course of its aggression against Ukraine," the agency said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield says she plans on putting forward a resolution to "condemn Russia's sham 'referenda'" and "call on Member States not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also called the vote a "sham" and said it has "no legitimacy" and is a "blatant violation of international law."