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Russian invaders force people in occupied territories to participate in pseudo-referenda – Ukrainian intelligence

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Russian occupation forces are making preparations and trying to create at least the appearance of the legitimacy of the announced "referenda" in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, according to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.

"In occupied Mariupol, it is planned that the referendum will be held by the so-called ‘commissions’, which include local collaborators, representatives of the occupation administrations and Russian military. They will go door-to-door in accordance with the lists of those willing to receive ‘humanitarian aid’. They are convincing the local residents that ‘there is no way back’ and everyone, who had received the ‘humanitarian aid’ must vote," it said on the Telegram channel on Friday.

In Mariupol, "the headquarters for the preparations for the referendum" has been set up in a shopping mall. Its activities are fully coordinated by representatives of the United Russia party.

In order to avoid artillery attacks by the Ukrainian defense forces, all of such centers for the preparations for the pseudo-referendum are located in crowded civilian facilities.

The occupiers also organize a range of "military and patriotic educational" events in order to spread their propaganda ideology among the local population. The target audience includes the local youth, who mostly do not take interest in the Russian ideology.

For example, in the town of Hola Prystan, Skadovsky district, Kherson region, the invaders organized a "youth forum" under the slogan "We Are Together with Russia". High school students were involved in it. The all-Russian veterans’ NGO Combat Brotherhoods plans to open its office in Mariupol. NGO Veterans of Air Assault Units of the Republic of Bashkortostan have addressed the city Gauleiter, Kostiantyn Ivaschenko, with a request for allocating premises for a military and patriotic club for junior air assault fighters and a children’s training base.