By Timoteus Iyambo

Moscow has announced almost 98% of residents in Russian-occupied regions voted to join Russia amid condemnation by International Community and several European Nations.

Russia’s state-owned Ria Novosti news agency reported that all ballots have now been counted with majority vowed for annexation of Ukraine occupied regions. “Election officials indicated 93% win in Zaporizhzhia region, as did 87% agreed to join Russia in Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and as well as 99% in Donetsk,” Rio Novosti news agency reported.

According to Sergey Tsvetkov, a former Ukrainian politician turned Russian senator from Crimea, referendums can be considered valid. “The referendums were held in accordance with international norms, legislation, and can be recognized as legitimate,” he indicated.

Ukrainian government together with the U.S. and its Western allies have dismissed the results as illegitimate. Kyiv indicated that residents were forced to vote in sealed-off towns. “This farce in the occupied territory cannot even be called an imitation of referendum.”

The recent referendum follows a similar territorial expansion Kremlin held back in 2014. Russian have applied a familiar strategic referendum during illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

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