1124 GMT December 09, 2022
Ukraine and its allies have denounced the referendums as a sham, saying the West would never recognise the results of the ballots, according to AFP.
Pro-Russian authorities in Zaporizhzhia said 93.11 percent of voters backed joining Russia, according to preliminary results on Tuesday evening.
In Kherson, another region in southern Ukraine, officials said more than 87.05 percent of electors supported the move after all the ballots were counted.
In the eastern Lugansk region controlled by pro-Russia separatists, local authorities said more than 98.42 percent voted in favor of joining Russia, according to local authorities.
Officials in Donetsk claimed victory as well, with the local poll body saying 99.23 percent of the vote was in favor of joining Russia.
"Saving people in the territories where this referendum is taking place... is the focus of the attention of our entire society and of the entire country," Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier during a televised meeting with officials.
His spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the votes would have "radical" legal implications and that the referendums "will also have consequences for security", referring to Moscow's threats to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Tuesday that Kyiv would defend its citizens in Moscow-held regions and rejected the referendums as a "farce".
He said the votes mean Kyiv will not negotiate with Moscow.
"There is nothing to talk about with (the) current Russian president," Zelensky said.