The referendums are taking place over five days in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Kyiv and its Western allies say the vote's a sham - and an unlawful land grab.
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Russian forces have invaded Ukraine from land, air and sea with strikes causing widespread damage. Global leaders have condemned the move and imposed sanctions.
Russia has been hit by global sanctions following President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.