Moscow-held regions of Ukraine in ‘sham’ vote to join Russia
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Voting has begun in Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. The Kremlin orchestrated the votes and they’re certain to go Russia’s way. But Ukraine and the West have denounced them as shams without any legal force. The votes are being held in the Luhansk, Kherson, partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. The expected outcome favoring joining Russia would give it the pretext to claim Ukrainian forces are attacking Russia itself. That would dramatically escalate the seven-month conflict. The referendums follow President Vladimir Putin’s order of a partial mobilization that could add some 300,000 Russian troops to the fight. The voting started Friday and runs through Tuesday.
World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow
NEW YORK (AP) — The tide of international opinion appears to have decisively shifted against Russia, as a number of non-aligned countries joined the United States and its allies in condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order. In what many believed earlier this year was Western wishful thinking, much of the international community spoke out against the conflict in rare displays of unity at the often fractured United Nations. The coalescing condemnation picked up steam earlier in the week when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of some additional 300,000 troops to Ukraine, signaling the unlikelihood of a quick end to the war and suggested that nuclear weapons may be an option.
Trump’s legal woes mount without protection of presidency
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s latest legal troubles — sweeping fraud allegations by New York’s attorney general and a stark repudiation by federal judges he appointed — have laid bare the challenges piling up as the former president operates without the protections afforded by the White House. The bluster and bravado that served him well in the political arena are less handy in a legal realm dominated by verifiable evidence, where judges this week have looked askance at his positions. This week alone, he has been sued in New York and a federal appeals court has sharply rejected his legal team’s arguments about documents seized from his Florida home.
US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea for joint drills