By The Associated Press
Pro-Moscow officials say residents in one of the four occupied areas of Ukraine voted to join Russia in Kremlin-orchestrated referendums. According to Russia-installed election officials in Zaporizhzhia, 93.11% of the ballots cast in the vote were in support of the annexation. Results from three other Ukrainian regions were expected to follow shortly. The preordained outcome sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in Russia’s war in Ukraine. It’s expected to serve as a pretext for Moscow to annex the four areas. The referendums in the Luhansk and Kherson regions and parts of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia asked residents whether they wanted the areas to be incorporated into Russia. Armed officials sometimes went door-to-door collecting votes.