Occupied Ukraine holds Kremlin-staged vote on joining Russia

Sep 22, 2022, 11:26 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 11:52 pm
Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recent...

Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Kremlin-orchestrated referendum got underway Friday in occupied regions of Ukraine that sought to make them part of Russia, with some officials carrying ballots to apartment blocks accompanied by gun-toting police. Kyiv and the West condemned it as a rigged election whose result was preordained by Moscow.

Meanwhile, in a grim reminder of the brutality of the 7-month-old invasion, U.N. experts and Ukrainian officials pointed to new evidence of Russian war crimes. Kharkiv region officials said a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izium held hundreds of bodies, including at least 30 displaying signs of torture.

The referendums in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions were widely seen as a prelude to Moscow annexing the regions. The voting, which was overseen by authorities installed by Russia, is scheduled to run through Tuesday and is almost certain to go the Kremlin’s way.

Authorities in the Kherson region said residents of a small Moscow-controlled area of the neighboring Mykolaiv province also will be able to vote, and that small area was “incorporated” into Kherson until all of Mykolaiv is taken over by Russian forces.

Ukraine and the West said the vote was an illegitimate attempt by Moscow to slice away a large part of the country, stretching from the Russian border to the Crimean Peninsula. A similar referendum took place in Crimea in 2014 before Moscow annexed it, a move that most of the world considered illegal.

Citing safety reasons, election officials carried ballots to homes and set up mobile polling stations for the four-day voting period. Russian state TV showed one such election team accompanied by a masked police officer carrying an assault rifle.

Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhia region, told The Associated Press that Russians and residents of Crimea were brought into his city to urge people to vote.

“The Russians see an overwhelming reluctance and fear to attend the referendum and are forced to bring people… to create an image and an illusion of the vote,” he said. “Groups of collaborators and Russians along with armed soldiers are doing a door-to-door poll, but few people open the doors to them.”

Voting also occurred in Russia, where refugees and other residents from those regions cast ballots.

Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-backed separatist leader in the Donetsk region, called the referendum “a historical milestone.”

Lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s State Duma, said in an online statement to the regions: “If you decide to become part of the Russian Federation, we will support you.”

Thousands attended pro-Kremlin rallies across Russia in support the referendums, news agencies reported. “Long live the one, great, united Russian people!” one speaker told the large crowd at a central Moscow rally and concert titled, “We Don’t Abandon Our Own.”

Luhansk Gov. Serhii Haidai accused officials of taking down the names of people who voted against joining Russia. In online posts, Haidai also alleged that Russian officials threatened to kick down the doors of anyone who didn’t want to vote.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians in occupied regions to undermine the referendums and to share information about the people conducting “this farce.” He also urged Ukrainians to avoid being called up in the Russian mobilization announced Wednesday.

“But if you do end up in the Russian army, then sabotage any enemy activity, interfere with any Russian operations, give us all important information about the occupiers. … And at the first opportunity, switch to our positions,” he said in his nightly address.

President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization of reservists could add about 300,000 troops, his defense minister said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed as false media reports of plans to muster up to 1.2 million troops.

Across the vast country, men hugged their weeping family members before departing as part of the call-up, which has raised fears that a wider draft might follow. Anti-war activists planned more protests Saturday.

Other Russian men tried desperately to leave the country, buying up scarce plane tickets and creating traffic jams hours or even days long at some borders. The lines of cars were so long at the border with Kazakhstan that some people abandoned their vehicles and walked — just as some Ukrainians did after Russia invaded their country Feb. 24.

Russian authorities sought to calm public fears over the call-up. Lawmakers introduced a bill Friday to suspend or reduce loan payments for those called to duty, and media emphasized that they would be paid the same as professional soldiers and that their civilian jobs would be held for them.

The Defense Ministry said many of those working in high tech, communications or finance will be exempt, the Tass news agency reported.

Amid the mobilization and referendums, the horrors of the conflict persisted.

Kharkiv regional Gov. Oleh Synyehubov and regional police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko said at least 30 of the 436 bodies exhumed so far in Izium bore signs of torture. Among them were the bodies of 21 Ukrainian soldiers, some found with their hands bound behind their backs, they said.

Russian forces occupied Izium for six months before being pushed out by a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month. The exhumations, which began a week ago, are nearing an end, as investigators work on identifying victims and how they died. A mobile DNA lab was parked at the edge of the burial site.

“Each body has its own story,” Synyehubov said.

Experts commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council also presented evidence of potential war crimes, including beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity in Russian detention facilities, and expressed grave concerns about extrajudicial killings the team was working to document in Kharkiv and the regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy.

With world opinion pushing Moscow deeper into isolation over the war, Russia lashed out against the West. Its U.S. ambassador, Anataly Antonov, said at a Moscow conference Friday about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that Washington is trying to bring Russia “to its knees” and divide it into “several fiefdoms” while stripping it of its nuclear weapons and its permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council.

In new reports of fighting, Ukraine’s presidential office said 10 civilians were killed and 39 others wounded by Russian shelling in nine regions. Battles continued in the southern Kherson province during the vote, it said, while Ukrainian forces meted out 280 attacks on Russian command posts, munitions depots and weapons.

Heavy fighting also continued in the Donetsk area, where Russian attacks targeted Toretsk, Sloviansk and several smaller towns. Russian shelling in Nikopol and Marhanets on the western bank of the Dnieper River killed two people and wounded nine.

In other developments, Kyiv expelled Iran’s ambassador and reduced staff at the Iranian Embassy in response to Tehran’s “supply of weapons to Russia for war on Ukrainian territory,” said Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. Ukraine reported shooting down an Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drone that can be used for surveillance or to carry precision-guided weapons, adding that it destroyed four other Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones.

Earlier Friday, Ukrainian officials said Russia had attacked the port city of Odesa with Iranian-made drones, killing one person.

Associated Press writer Lori Hinnant in Izium contributed.

___

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              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
            
              A group of Russians smile at the border crossing Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia's North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian serviceman walks past heavily damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              A part of a rocket is seen on the ground in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
            
              Ukrainian soldiers fire in the recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a hospital in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Demonstrators hold Russian state flags ahead the action "We do not abandon our own" to support the referendum, on Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The All-Russia People's Front organized a rally in support of the referendums in the four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              An elderly woman from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, holds her Ukrainian passport as she prepares to vote at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. (AP Photo)
            
              Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, speaks to the media as he opens voting in a referendum in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes. Words behind him read "With Russia forever, September 27". (AP Photo)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A man from Luhansk region, the territory controlled by a pro-Russia separatist government, but who lives in Russia, votes at temporary accommodation facility in Volgograd, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Polls also opened in Russia, where refugees from regions under Russian control can cast their votes.  (AP Photo)
            
              Erik Mose, center, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, Jasminka Dzumhur, left, and Pablo de Greiff, right, Commissioners of Inquiry on Ukraine, talk to the media during a press conference following an update to the UN Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine said Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              Demonstrators hold Russian state flags ahead the action "We do not abandon our own" to support the referendum, on Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The All-Russia People's Front organized a rally in support of the referendums in the four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
            
              Smoke raises in the front line close to recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after almost seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A food courier rides a bike past an image of Ukraine's postage stamp design depicting the Crimean bridge connecting Ukraine and Russia blown up, near the city hall in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              Erik Mose, center, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, Jasminka Dzumhur, left, and Pablo de Greiff, right, Commissioners of Inquiry on Ukraine, talk to the media during a press conference following an update to the UN Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine said Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              Demonstrators hold Russian state flags ahead the action "We do not abandon our own" to support the referendum, on Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The All-Russia People's Front organized a rally in support of the referendums in the four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
            
              Smoke raises in the front line close to recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after almost seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A food courier rides a bike past an image of Ukraine's postage stamp design depicting the Crimean bridge connecting Ukraine and Russia blown up, near the city hall in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              Erik Mose, center, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, Jasminka Dzumhur, left, and Pablo de Greiff, right, Commissioners of Inquiry on Ukraine, talk to the media during a press conference following an update to the UN Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine said Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              Demonstrators hold Russian state flags ahead the action "We do not abandon our own" to support the referendum, on Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The All-Russia People's Front organized a rally in support of the referendums in the four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
            
              Smoke raises in the front line close to recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after almost seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A food courier rides a bike past an image of Ukraine's postage stamp design depicting the Crimean bridge connecting Ukraine and Russia blown up, near the city hall in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              Erik Mose, center, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, Jasminka Dzumhur, left, and Pablo de Greiff, right, Commissioners of Inquiry on Ukraine, talk to the media during a press conference following an update to the UN Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine said Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
            
              A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              Demonstrators hold Russian state flags ahead the action "We do not abandon our own" to support the referendum, on Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The All-Russia People's Front organized a rally in support of the referendums in the four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
            
              Smoke raises in the front line close to recently retaken Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages on Thursday as both sides refused to concede ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after almost seven months of war. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
            
              People gather to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Krasny Yar village outside Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              A food courier rides a bike past an image of Ukraine's postage stamp design depicting the Crimean bridge connecting Ukraine and Russia blown up, near the city hall in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
            
              A woman votes during a referendum in a mobile polling station in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather in front of an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. The words in the background read "From friendship in sports to peace on earth!". (AP Photo)
            
              People lineup to attend voting in referendum in front of mobile polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo/)
            
              People wait to attend voting in a referendum in front of a mobile polling station in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. (AP Photo)
            
              In this image taken from video, a Russian draftee kisses his partner before boarding a bus to be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Mobilization is underway in Russia's Far Eastern region of Yakutia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo)
            
              FILE - People walk in a street with a billboard that reads: "Our choice - Russia", prior to a referendum in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Sept. 22, 2022. Four occupied regions in Ukraine are set to start voting Friday Sept. 23, 2022, in Kremlin-engineered referendums on whether to become part of Russia, setting the stage for Moscow to annex the areas in a sharp escalation of the nearly seven-month war. (AP Photo/File)
            
              FILE - A military vehicle drives along a street with a billboard that reads: "With Russia forever, September 27", prior to a referendum in Luhansk, Luhansk People's Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Four occupied regions in Ukraine are set to start voting Friday Sept. 23, 2022 in Kremlin-engineered referendums on whether to become part of Russia, setting the stage for Moscow to annex the areas in a sharp escalation of the nearly seven-month war. (AP Photo/File)

AP

Associated Press

Lawsuit against doctor who defied Texas abortion law tossed

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lawyers for a doctor who intentionally defied a Texas abortion law that the lawyers called a “bounty-hunting scheme” say a court has dismissed a test of whether members of the public can sue providers who violate the restrictions for at least $10,000 in damages. Dr. Alan Braid published an opinion piece […]
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Associated Press

Brazil’s da Silva announces incoming Cabinet ministers

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Friday unveiled some of the faces that will comprise his incoming administration, including his much-awaited pick for finance minister: former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad. Haddad’s nomination ends weeks of suspense that have led to stock volatility and ups and downs of the […]
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Associated Press

Tennessee high school sports org votes to allow NIL deals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The rulemaking arm of Tennessee’s high school sports oversight organization has made a change that allows student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. A news release from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association says its legislative council voted for the change on Thursday, effective immediately. Students could receive […]
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Associated Press

More breast cancer patients can choose smaller surgery

Many women with two or three breast tumors can get by with lumpectomy surgery instead of having their whole breast removed, a new study suggests. In recent years, more patients with multiple tumors have been identified, a result of more sensitive imaging techniques that can reveal tiny, once-hidden cancers. That means more patients are being […]
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Associated Press

SF Conservatory buys Askonas Holt representation agency

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Conservatory added a major classical music agency to its commercial businesses, announcing Friday it was acquiring London-based Askonas Holt. Askonas’ clients includes conductors Daniel Barenboim, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, Nathalie Stutzmann and Michael Tilson Thomas; sopranos Angel Blue and Eva-Maria Westbroek; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato; tenors Marcelo […]
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FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021.  The Treasury Department says it...
Associated Press

US sanctions companies for rights abuses in Chinese waters

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Friday it is sanctioning a group of companies and people linked to illegal fishing operations and human rights abuses in Chinese waters. One company is accused of maintaining working conditions so dangerous that five workers died after 13 months at sea, with three of the workers’ bodies dumped […]
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