In portions of Ukraine voting in a "controlled" referendum to join Russia has started

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Image Source: Google

Voting on whether the controlled regions of Ukraine would join Russia began on Friday. 

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Kyiv and the West denounced the referendums as an illegal and contrived attempt by Moscow to annex the east and south after nearly seven months of fighting. 

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United Nations experts and Ukrainian officials cited fresh proof of war crimes in Ukraine during the voting.

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Residents of a small Moscow-controlled section of the nearby Mykolaiv region will also be entitled to vote, according to Russian-installed officials in the Kherson region. 

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Until Russian forces completely occupy Mykolaiv, this little territory has been "integrated" into the Kherson region 

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Russian shelling in nine different districts of Ukraine over the course of the last 24 hours caused at least 10 civilian deaths and 39 additional injuries.

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On Saturday, Russian antiwar protestors planned to demonstrate against the mobilization. 

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Additionally, polls opened in Russia where citizens of those regions, including refugees, may cast their ballots.

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The voting is taking place as Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are exchanging fire and refusing to give ground in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.