Putin Could Use Referendums to Justify Nuclear Strikes on Ukraine

Referendum voting in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine is underway, a process Western and Ukrainian officials are rebuking as a sham by the Kremlin to legitimize Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory and make way for Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify nuclear strikes, reports Newsweek.

Referendums began Friday in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, some of which are only partially controlled by Russia.

Ukrainian officials said people were banned from leaving some occupied areas until the four-day vote was over, armed groups were going into homes, and employees were threatened with the sack if they did not participate.

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