Ukraine live briefing: Russia stages annexation referendums, announces exceptions to military call-up

Moscow staged annexation referendums on Friday in Ukrainian territory under its control, in a dramatic push to consolidate its grip over swaths of the country. Ukraine’s allies condemned the votes as illegal and escalatory.

In the face of backlash, Russia somewhat narrowed the parameters of a mass call up to swell the ranks of its beleaguered military. Those working in certain roles in information technology, telecommunications, media and finance would be excluded from the push to mobilize as many as 300,000 reservists, according to a statement from Russia’s Ministry of Defense. The call-up order has prompted protests and an exodus, with traffic jams forming along some of Russia’s borders, including the Mongolian frontier.

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