The Russian Federation is actively preparing for a pseudo-referendum on the annexation of Ukraine’s occupied territories to the Russian Federation, said Artem Dekhtiarenko, spokesperson for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU}.

The SBU has documented that “the enemy plans to use the pro-Russian organization Donetsk Republic to carry out the so-called expression of will,” the spokesperson said in a video message posted on the SBU’s Telegram channel on Tuesday.

Previously, the “Donetsk Republic” operated only locally, according to Dekhtiarenko, “but now its geography is being expanded.“ In addition, the enemy is planning a name change. The most likely choice is “greater Russia,” he said.

According to the SBU, more than 1,000 people are already active in this organization, who hold daily meetings with the population of the temporarily occupied territories.
“Among them are agitators, bloggers and ‘vigilantes’ cooperating with the occupiers. In fact, they recruit people by encouraging them to join the organization. They have already contacted more than 200,000 of the local population,” the SBU spokesperson noted.

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Dekhtiarenko said that the Kremlin plans to use controlled media resources to reach more than 50 million viewers from Russia and eastern Ukraine with their propaganda.

“In addition, the invaders plan to transfer more than 1,000 Russian experts and volunteers to the region to undermine the internal situation in their favor. According to the SBU, they should organize illegal mass meetings, spread agitation in support of a pseudo-referendum and equip election commissions.”

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He explains that the plan is to prepare a “sham” appeal for annexation of the Donetsk region, allegedly from local residents, to the leadership of the occupation, the spokesperson of the SBU summed up.

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