10 things you need to know today: September 27, 2022

Russia's 'sham' referendums enter last day as pressure rises in Moscow, Hurricane Ian strengthens as it hits Cuba and aims for Florida, and more

A woman casts her ballot in Mariupol
A woman casts her ballot in Mariupol
(Image credit: STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

1. 'Sham' referendums on joining Russia ending as pressure mounts on Moscow

Russia on Tuesday is wrapping up five-day referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine that Moscow is expected to use to justify annexing the areas. Ukraine's government and the West have called the referendums a "sham." There have been reports of Russian soldiers going house-to-house pressuring people to vote. A senior Kremlin official warned Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons to stop Ukraine's push to reclaim Russia-occupied areas. Russian President Vladimir Putin last week ordered a "partial mobilization" of 300,000 military reservists to active duty in response to Ukraine's expanding counteroffensive. The unpopular move has prompted 17 attacks on recruiting centers in Russia, as well as protests and a rush of young men fleeing the country to avoid being drafted.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.