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Ukraine Latest: Annexation Votes Start; Russian Draft Exemptions

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WATCHL Reservists in Russia’s far-east part from their families following Putin’s announcement of a “partial mobilization.”Source: Bloomberg
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On the eve of the war’s seven-month mark, voting began in four Moscow-occupied territories on whether to join Russia. Ukraine’s government and its allies have slammed the referendums as shams, reminiscent of a similar ballot in Crimea in 2014 ahead of annexation. 

The ballots in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, mark an escalation in Russia’s plans to annex swaths of its neighbor. They follow recent military setbacks by Russian troops and President Vladimir Putin’s move to call up as many as 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine.