The Russians don’t have lists of the population that remained in the occupied cities, but they are already claiming a turnout of 45% on the pseudo-referendum show to annex the occupied territories, according to Luhansk Oblast Military Administration Head Serhii Haidai.
“If on the first day of the so-called “referendum” [on 23 September] the armed military only went door-to-door to apartments and forced people to vote in the courtyards, then on the weekend people with assault rifles inspect places of mass gathering of people. In particular, the marketplaces, checking the documents and send those to the ‘polling station’,” Haidai wrote.
According to Haidai, there are only five so-called “international observers” accredited to monitor the sham referendum in the entire Luhansk Oblast. Those monitors are, in particular, from Belarus and Cameroon.
Russians have no idea how many residents remained in the newly occupied cities, Haidai says:
“The number of those who voted isn’t announced anywhere, only a percentage. In Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk, and Rubizhne, which were almost completely destroyed, the occupiers claim a turnout of 41 to 46%, but at the same time, they don’t have lists of the population remaining in these cities.”
A large number of the residents of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine during the first months of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine.