A British ambassador has urged the United Nations to reject the results of illegal Russian-backed "sham" referendums in Ukraine.
During a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the war, the United Kingdom's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN James Kariuki said the referendums were "an egregious violation" of the principles of the UN Charter.
"We’ve all seen images of soldiers with automatic rifles accompanying the ballots as they move from door to door, forcing Ukrainians to take part. Any referenda held under these conditions, at the barrel of a gun, can never be remotely close to free or fair," Kariuki said.
"The very idea that a referendum on a fundamental question could be held at three days’ notice in the middle of a war zone is frankly farcical," he added.
"We must all unequivocally reject these illegitimate actions and Russian attempts to illegally annex Ukrainian territory," he said.