With staged referendums in Ukraine complete, Russia begins the annexation process

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A man glues a referendum poster reading "Yes" in Berdyansk, Ukraine, on Monday.

Separatist leaders in occupied areas of Ukraine moved to join the Russian Federation — after claiming that the people there had chosen to join Russia, in referendums denounced by the West as a sham.

(Image credit: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

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