Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian-installed leaders in occupied areas of four Ukrainian regions set out plans for referendums on joining Russia this week, a step an ally of President Vladimir Putin said would alter the geopolitical landscape forever.
Russian officials portrayed the move as one that would give Moscow a claim to territory that it could defend with any means possible. Ukraine dismissed it as a stunt by Russia to try to reclaim the initiative after crushing losses on the battlefield.
"Sham â€˜referendumsâ€™ will not change anything," tweeted Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
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First Published: Sep 20 2022 | 9:37 PM IST