EU denounces ‘sham results’ of referendums in Russia-occupied Ukraine

European Union (EU) on Wednesday denounced the “falsified outcomes of illegal’’ referendums Russia had held in occupied territories in Ukraine.

Bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell noted that this is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, amidst systematic abuses of human rights.

Borrell echoed a statement issued by European Council President, Charles Michel, late on Tuesday evening.

Moscow has been holding referendums that are illegal under international law in four Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya to justify annexing them to the Russian Federation.

Kiev and countries around the world repeatedly denounced the five-day vote in areas under martial law.

Putin had previously stressed that the territories would be completely under the protection of Russia, including its nuclear arsenal, if the referendum results showed a majority for annexation.