Russia to annex more of Ukraine Friday in major escalation of war

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war that will further isolate the Kremlin, draw it more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine.

An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin.

The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged.

In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

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