Moscow pledges ‘full protection’ to any areas annexed by Russia.

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Russia has sought to defend its seven-month old war at the United Nations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that regions of Ukraine where widely-derided referendums are being held would be under Russia’s “full protection” if annexed by Moscow.

The referendums in four eastern Ukrainian regions, aimed at annexing territory Russia has taken by force since its invasion in February, entered their third day on Sunday and the Russian parliament could move to formalise the annexation within days.

Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed the referendums as a sham designed to justify an escalation of the war and a mobilisation drive by Moscow after recent battlefield losses.—Reuters

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