The Kremlin has reported that residents of occupied Ukrainian territories voted overwhelmingly to join Russia after being marched to the ballot box at gunpoint.
First partial voting results in Moscow’s sham referendums in four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine unsurprisingly came out in favour of annexation by Russia, Russian state news said on Tuesday.
And later results from the election charade continued the trend.
Hastily arranged votes had taken place over five days in the four areas – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – that make up about 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory.
Russian-installed officials accompanied by machinegun-toting henchmen took ballot boxes from house to house in what Ukraine and the West said was an illegitimate, coercive exercise designed to create a legal pretext for Russia to annex the four regions.
President Vladimir Putin could then portray any Ukrainian attempt to recapture them as an attack on Russia itself. He said last week he was…