Despite the sham referendums held by Russian occupiers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced the recapture of affected areas of his country. "This farce in the occupied territories cannot even be described as an imitation of referendums," he said in his video address. "We move forward and liberate our country!"
Shortly before, the occupation administrations deployed by Moscow in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as in Cherson and Zaporizhia in the south, had said that the people there had allegedly voted in favor of joining Russia, some with more than 99 percent approval.
Read all about the events of the 217th day of the war in the stern live blog.