Workers vote in Russia-controlled Melitopol

STORY: Melitopol has been under the control of Russian forces since the early months of the conflict in Ukraine.

Four Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces have been holding votes widely condemned by the West as illegitimate and a precursor to illegal annexation.

The votes in the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were hastily organised after Ukraine recaptured large swathes of the northeast in a counter-offensive.

The Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, may debate bills incorporating the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine into Russia on September 29, the state-run TASS news agency said on Saturday, citing an unnamed source.