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Russia-Held Regions In Ukraine Begins Referendum

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The Moscow-backed leaders of the self-proclaimed, breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) in eastern Ukraine have hailed the beginning of the regions’ referendums on joining Russia.

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“We are returning home,” Denis Pushilin, head of the DPR, said. “Donbas is Russia,” he added, citing eastern Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

“All of us have been waiting for a referendum on joining Russia for eight long years,” he said. “We have already become part of Russia. There remains only a small matter – to win (the war).”

READ ALSO: US Forces Will Defend Taiwan If China Invades; Biden Warns Xi Jinping

Engineered outcomes that support the regions joining Russia are almost certain, as is a swiftly choreographed annexation of the occupied territories along the lines of Moscow’s 2014 seizure of the Crimean Peninsula, which took just days.

READ ALSO: Al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Killed By U.S. In Kabul Drone Strike; Biden Announces

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In related news, Uzbekistan’s UZCARD system has suspended the processing of payments via Mir cards issued by Bank of Russia’s National Payment Card System (NSPK), the chief executive of which has been targeted by US sanctions.

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