Speed Reads

ukraine war

Putin ramps up conscription, cracks down on dissent

Russian President Vladimir Putin is stepping up efforts to enlist troops to fight in Ukraine, bolstering new conscription demands by rounding up men in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports The Washington Post.

In Kherson and Zaporizka, two regions overrun by Russia's military, men ages 18 to 35 have been forbidden to leave and ordered to report for military duty, which would require Ukrainians to fight against their own country, reports The New York Times.

In the same regions, citizens were forced to vote in a "sham referendum" that would validate Moscow's annexation of the territory it occupies. People were made to vote "under a gun barrel," after Putin signed amendments that made punishments more severe for crimes such as refusing to follow the orders of a senior officer during wartime.