West condemns Russian plans for Ukraine referendums, calling it a “sham”
The west has condemned Russia’s plans to hold urgent referendums in parts of Ukraine that are under Russian control.
The votes have been called in four Ukrainian regions to ask whether they should become part of Russia.
The US, Germany and France have announced they will never recognise the results of the “sham” ballots.
Many in the west are seeing this latest development as an escalation in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Russians plan to run polls for five days, starting on Friday in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – as well as Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.
The four areas represent around 15% of Ukrainian territory.
The suggestion that any polls or voting would be legitimate, fair or honest during the middle of war were immediately rejected by western leaders.