Ukraine: 'Referendums' in occupied regions nearly complete
Moscow, Sep 27: Russian-backed "referendums" which could lead to 15% of Ukraine's territory being annexed, are scheduled to on Tuesday.
The vote, which Kyiv and its allies dismiss as a sham, concerns Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.
People living in the Russian-occupied areas are being asked if they want their regions to be part of Russia.
The polls were announced just days before voting began on Friday and were called amid an effective Ukraine counteroffensive, which has seen territory controlled by Russia shrink in recent weeks.
Putin made a thinly veiled nuclear threat last week, saying that Russia would use "all available means" to defend its territory.
Over the weekend the US said it would respond decisively to any use of Russian nuclear weapons, with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan saying there would be "catastrophic consequences for Russia" should the line be crossed.
Here's a roundup of other news from or concerning the war in Ukraine on September 27.
Putin set to address Russian parliament on Friday after 'referendums' — UK
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to address both houses of the Russian parliament on Friday, according to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence.
The latest intelligence update states there is a "realistic possibility" Putin will use the address to announce the accession of occupied regions in Ukraine.
The update goes on to say that in Russia, the "referendums" and "accession announcement will be seen as a vindication of the 'special military operation' and will consolidate patriotic support for the conflict."
Japan protests diplomat's detention
Japan on Tuesday demanded an apology from Russia for the detention of one of its diplomats for alleged espionage.
The Japanese official was based in the eastern city of Vladivostok and was detained and interrogated on September 22.
"The official was blindfolded, with pressure applied to both his hands and head so he was unable to move while being detained, and then he was questioned in an overbearing way," government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
Matsuno said that Japan "strongly protests these unbelievable acts," and denied the espionage allegations.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that a Japanese diplomat was detained while receiving classified information, in exchange for money.
On Monday, Russia's Foreign Ministry informed Japan's Embassy in Moscow that the official had been declared "persona non grata," or an undesirable person and ordered him to leave within 48 hours.
More Ukraine-related content on DW
Amid a successful Ukraine counteroffensive to retake the Kharkiv region in September, residents of recently liberated areas are recounting the horrors of life under Russian occupation. Read their accounts here.
DW takes a look at Russia's revival of the nuclear threat, and what type of protection Europe has.