Annexation to Russia, referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk on 23 September
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Annexation to Russia, referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk on 23 September

The final go-ahead has arrived for the referendum for the annexation of the two self-proclaimed separatist republics of the Donbas to Russia. In both Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as in the occupied Kherson region, the popular consultation will be held from 23 to 27 September. Meanwhile, the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, has approved a series of amendments to the penal code which provide for the strengthening of penalties in the event of “mobilization”, “martial law”, “wartime” and “armed conflict”.