President Joe Biden slammed Russia's referendum in Ukraine as "a sham" during a White House summit with Pacific Island nations.
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The Kremlin announced Thursday that four regions of Ukraine that were forced into elections would be annexed into Russia on Friday.
Russia state media said Putin will make a speech at the Kremlin to mark the staged annexations, which are illegal under international law and call to mind Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014. Preparations were being made Thursday for the ceremony, with Red Square in Moscow being sealed off and a stage being erected.
President Joe Biden on Thursday called the votes “a sham – an absolute sham.”
The U.S. has proposed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the votes in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in Ukraine.
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